Thursday 23 March
Australia’s 2023 Eucalypt of the Year is Angophora costata: Sydney Red Gum
Australia’s favourite eucalypt for 2023 has been chosen on the tenth anniversary of National Eucalypt Day. For the sixth consecutive year, thousands of gumnuts have cast their vote throughout March. With competition even closer than previous years, the 2023 Eucalypt of the Year is revealed to be Angophora costata: Sydney Red Gum.
“Many Australians will instantly recognise the winner of this year’s Gum Gong: the stunning Angophora costata, or Sydney Red Gum,” says Linda Baird, Eucalypt Australia CEO.
“Angophora costata is an absolute stunner with its profusion of showy white flowers, evocative red, orange and salmon hues that capture the changing light and outstretched, contorted limbs. These limbs appear to be welcoming you with open arms. It is known by the Dharawal people of the Sydney region as kajimbourra.
The Sydney Red Gum’s presence is synonymous with greater Sydney’s coastal sandstone landscape, as well as stretching inland to the Blue Mountains, further south to the NSW South Coast and further north to Coffs Harbour. Another common name for Angophora costata includes Smooth-barked Apple. It typically flowers from October to January.
“This year’s favourites are amongst our most widely recognised and commonly planted species. They are part of the Australian psyche, with many planted in suburban parklands and streets in the 70s and 80s. They evoke strong memories of childhood summers and days past.
“In second place is the Lemon-scented Gum: Corymbia citriodora native to Queensland. I’ve been awestruck by its beautiful scent while cycling around Melbourne over the last few weeks.
“In third place is the Red-flowering Gum: Corymbia ficifolia native to the Albany region of WA. It placed second last year after a battle for recognition from the passionate online Ficifolia fan club. Both firm favourites, we are already excited to see if one of these two wins next year,” says Linda.
Last year, Eucalyptus regnans: Mountain Ash took out the award.
Eucalypt of the Year is an annual competition announced on National Eucalypt Day, 23 March, with voting managed externally by media partner Remember The Wild. National Eucalypt Day is Australia’s biggest annual celebration of eucalypts held annually to celebrate and promote Australia’s eucalypts and what they mean to our lives and hearts.
*Publication quality images with attributions here.
Available for interview:
Linda is Chief Executive Officer of Eucalypt Australia and can speak about the Eucalypt of the Year competition, and the origins, purpose and work of Eucalypt Australia.
Professor Ros Gleadow
Professor Ros Gleadow is Chair of Eucalypt Australia and can discuss eucalypts, their biology and conservation.
For interviews please contact:
Sara McMillan, Remember The Wild: 0437 743 096
EXPLAINER RE: EUCALYPTUS VS EUCALYPTS
Quotes attributable to Linda Baird:
“What is fascinating about eucalypts is that they encompass three distinct groups (genera) of eucalyptus (~750), corymbia (~100) and angophora (~10). The three are related and considered under the umbrella “eucalypts” due to a range of similarities. The most obvious difference between the Angophoras and the other two genera is the lack of protective bud cap (the hat on a gumnut baby!) in the former.”
“This is the first time a non-Eucalyptus has won in the six years of the competition.”
“Angophora are commonly referred to as “Apples”, and Corymbia are commonly referred to as “Bloodwoods”. Eucalyptus species are often known colloquially by names that allude to their bark-type (e.g. Ironbark, Box, Stringybark). All are known colloquially as ‘gumtrees’ – a name derived from the sap exuded by many eucalypt species – but most people tend to use that term to refer to eucalypt tree species, rather than mallee or shrub species.”