Macquarie Dictionary


The Australian gum tree

This week we are paying tribute to the great Australian gum tree. From the Snowy Mountains in the Great Dividing Range to Tasmania, Darwin, Far North Queensland and beyond, the landscape is dominated by the beautiful Australian eucalypt, so named from its gummy sap.

By definition, a gum tree is any tree or shrub of the myrtaceous genus Eucalyptus, almost entirely Australian apart from a limited number of tropical species in New Guinea and other nearby islands. Some gums yield eucalyptus oil and some hardwood timber while others bear gumnuts as fruits.

Some of the gum trees you might spot on a drive around Australia include yellow gum, ghost gum and stinking gum, while grey box refers to a number of species of gum tree.  

Each week, we have a look at a slang word from Australian English. You can see other Aussie Word of the Week posts from the Macquarie Dictionary here.

Leave a Comment

Featured Articles