Water Gum

Tristaniopsis laurina

“A small spreading tree usually 4-10m high with handsome foliage and distinctive pale bare sheeny bark” NPOS p. 371

The water gum is a common tree found on the east coat of Australia from the Brisbane River in Queensland through NSW down to Gippsland region of Victoria. It flowers in summer with groups of small yellow flowers with 5 rounded petals.

Flowering Water Gum in the wet. Flowers are said to have a strong smell but my nose couldn’t detect much

The water gum is also a common street plant in Sydney and indeed we have one growing out on our nature strip! I confirmed on old Google street view images that it was there 11 years ago when we moved in. It’s a very slow grower and today it’s not much taller than it was back then. The photos are from one of several in the front yard, I didn’t pay attention when we moved in but I think they’ve been there all along as well. The ones in the garden look like they’re self seeded along with most of our garden plants. The yellow flowers are said to have a strong distinctive smell but when I took a whiff up close there was only the slight hint of a pleasant lemony floral aroma.

A self seeded water gum in our yard. There’s a few of them that are slowly growing bigger
Sources and further reading

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