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This genus of trees and shrubs, with more than 700 species, dominates the tree flora of Australia. There are also a number of native species growing wild in New Zealand, Indonesia, New Guinea, and the Philippines, with many plantations established recently in Vietnam.

The word eucalyptus derives from the Greek, meaning “well-covered.” In Australia, the trees are generally known as gum trees, or sometimes because of the fact that the bark seems to “peel” in the summer, they are referred to as stringybark trees. Although they grow wild, they are also common as trees providing shade in parks, on sides of roads and in the gardens of houses, as well as being planted in forestry plantations.

The leaves of eucalyptus trees are leathery because the tree often ...

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