Swamp gum

Swamp gum
Image: Public domain
Community type

Fringing woodland

Habitat type

Tidal wetlands and macrophytes beds

Tasmania has 29 species of eucalypt. Swamp gum gets its name as they generally occur in poorly drained, swampy areas with sandy or clay soils. Swamp gums grow in a variety of terrain, from exposed coastal sites through to mountain foothills. In the tidal wetlands of the Upper Derwent estuary swamp gums grow on low elevated banks where their roots are inundated by water. Usually a medium-sized tree, under the right conditions it can reach up to 30 m in height. The base of the tree is usually covered in rough, dark grey bark extending a short way up the trunk. The rest of the trunk and branches shed long ribbons of bark, leaving a smooth creamy white or pink surface. Many insects and birds live and feed among the bark and branches of swamp gums. They flower from July to October, are an important food source for nectar feeding birds like lorikeets and parrots and a vital food plant for the endangered swift parrot.

Much of the text within the species area of our website was written by Veronica Thorpe, as part of the Derwent River Wildlife Guide (2000).

The DEP has developed a variety of classroom and outdoor activities focused around the key estuary habitats of tidal wetlands, salt marshes and rocky reefs. These include classroom materials, online resources, interpretive walks, games and sensory experiences.