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Mountain Water Gum

Tristaniopsis collina
Mountain Water Gum Hill Kanuka

Around Robertson, this is a shrub to medium tree, with pale, creamy-grey bark. The leathery leaves are alternate. with smooth edges. They are narrow, tapering equally at both ends (elliptic) and are about 5-8 cm long. The lower surface of the leaf is much paler than the upper surface and the short leaf stalk is purple.

The stems of the branchlets are reddish-purple, in contrast to the older branches, which are pale. The leaves tend to be crowded towards the ends of the branchlets, the young shoots are silky-hairy and the new foliage is red.

The 5-petalled yellow flowers occur in summer in small clusters in the forks of the leaves. The fruit is a dry oval capsule enclosing small winged seeds which are shed in autumn-winter, when it ripens.

Mountain Water Gum is not found in rainforest with a dense canopy but it is common on some hillsides, especially on shales or sandstones, and also near the escarpment. The plant can be grown from fresh seed, taking 2-3 weeks to germinate.

Distribution: Narooma (NSW) to McPherson Range (Qld).