The main difference between Eucalyptus and Corymbia is that Corymbia shows inflorescence, which occurs as a ‘corymb,’ unlike Eucalyptus.
Eucalyptus and Corymbia are both genera of trees in the myrtle family, Myrtaceae. Both genera are native to Australia and include a large number of species. Eucalyptus and Corymbia were once classified as subgenera within the larger genus Eucalyptus. However, in the mid-1990s, botanists discovered that the two groups were genetically distinct, and they subsequently reclassified them as separate genera.
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What is Eucalyptus
Eucalyptus is a large and diverse genus of trees and shrubs in the myrtle family, Myrtaceae. It is native to Australia and includes more than 700 species. Each Australian state and territory have a representative species. They are one of the most common trees in Australian forests. Since wildfire is a frequent occurrence in these forests, many eucalypt species have various adaptations to fire. They resprout after a fire or have seeds that survive the fire. These trees also grow fast and have valuable timber. We use them to produce honey and essential oils or use them as pulpwood.
The barks of the plants in the genus Eucalyptus are smooth, fibrous, hard, or stringy, and their leaves have oil glands. Perhaps the most distinctive feature is their flowers. Flowers have fluffy stamens that may range from white, cream, yellow, and pink to red. Moreover, the sepals of the flowers are fused to form an operculum or cap.
What is Corymbia
Corymbia is a genus of trees in the myrtle family, Myrtaceae. It is native to Australia and includes about 100 species, many of which are commonly known as “eucalypts.” In fact, the three genera, Corymbia, Angophora, and Eucalyptus, are collectively known by the name eucalypts. Until 1990, people considered corymbias as a part of the genus Eucalyptus. But botanists recently discovered that Corymbia is more similar to Angophora than Eucalyptus. The Australian Plant Census now regards it as a separate genus. The trees in this genus are native to a wide range of habitats, including woodlands, rainforests, and dry open forests. Red-flowering Gum, Spotted Gum, and Lemon-scented Gum are some common species.
The mature leaves of Corymbia are broad and glossy, while the young leaves are opposite and hairy. Flowers have a terminal arrangement forming a hemispherical corymb outside the leaf canopy. Flower heads can also be pressed. Meanwhile, the fruits of this genus are woody capsules whose discs are depressed and valves are typically enclosed.
Difference Between Eucalyptus and Corymbia
Eucalyptus is a large and diverse genus of trees and shrubs in the myrtle family, Myrtaceae, while Corymbia is a genus of about one hundred species of tree that belongs to the myrtle family.
Eucalyptus flowers have fluffy stamens, and the fusion of sepals forms an operculum, whereas Corymbia shows inflorescence, which occurs as a ‘corymb.’
Number of species
Moreover, Eucalyptus includes over 700 species, while Corymbia includes about 100 species.
Overall, Eucalyptus and Corymbia are both diverse and ecologically important genera of trees. However, they are separate genera due to differences in their classification, the number of species, and physical features. The main difference between Eucalyptus and Corymbia is that Corymbia shows inflorescence, which occurs as a ‘corymb,’ unlike Eucalyptus.
1. “Eucalyptus, Corymbia and Angophora = eucalypts.” Christopher Jones’ Research.
2. “Corymbia ficifolia (syn. Eucalyptus ficifolia) red-flowering gum.” Tree of Stanford.
1. “Eucalyptus tereticornis flowers, capsules, buds and foliage” By Ethel Aardvark – Own work (CC BY 3.0) via Commons Wikimedia
2. “Corymbia ficifolia Flowers” By JJ Harrison – Own work (CC BY-SA 3.0) via Commons Wikimedia