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64. Fallowfield Gum
Thriving among university halls, a characterful eucalyptus has become something of a landmark in south Manchester.
In an unregarded corner of the University of Manchester's Fallowfield campus, a stout black gum* grows between the Limes Building and a halls of residence on Whitworth Lane. Black gums are rare, but are far handsomer than other more common eucalypts which can often appear gaunt and leggy. It is pleasantly surprising to see such a good example, particularly so far north.
Where to find it
Black gum notes
There are many hundreds of eucalypt species, the name given to trees in the Eucalyptus, Corymbia and Angophora genera, but only a few dozen can be encountered in these islands, and only a handful of those are common. Black gums are one of the less frequent species, distinguished by their slim lanceolate leaves, peeling bark and relatively dense crown.
In their native Australia (and New Guinea), eucalypts are found in almost every situation, from rainforest to semi-desert, and from coastal woodland to mountain forest. Unsurprisingly, it is the species that originate in more familiar woodland and upland environments of New South Wales, Victoria and Tasmania that do well in Britain and Ireland.
* I am not confident about my Eucalyptus ID skills, so this is my best guess, I would be happy to hear from anyone who may have a more confident ID, or if you can confirm this is E. aggregata.