New Varieties

Eucalyptus 'Shannon Blue'

Breeding > Eucalyptus 'Shannon Blue'

Eucalyptus ‘Shannon Blue’ is a Eucalyptus gunnii x Eucalyptus pulverulenta ‘Baby Blue’ hybrid, selected primarily for use by growers of cut foliage.

When maintained as pruned hedges, it has foliage quality similar to the ‘pulver’ type of eucalyptus that is liked in the cut foliage trade, but has greater vigour and cold tolerance in cool temperate climates such as Britain’s. The foliage quality of Shannon Blue is maintained throughout harsh winters in UK, and it appears to tolerate temperatures down to -14°C. Juvenile and adult foliage is grey-green. Wax produced on the foliage, young stems and young bark makes these tissues highly glaucous in their year of formation, giving them a powder-blue appearance.

For availability of Shannon Blue plants, see Plant Sales

Shannon Blue foliage in a bouquet

Shannon Blue foliage in an arrangement made in mid-February 2010. Foliage was from a trial planting of Shannon Blue made by Uklyptus in north Wales. Note the excellent quality of the foliage from a harvest in late winter. The intense glaucousness of the foliage has been reduced by the passage of winter, though the colour is still good and the lack of blemishes notable. The arrangement illustrated was made by Blooming Green

Because it is propagated by cuttings, Shannon Blue produces foliage of consistent quality. The vase life of the cut stems is good, and similar to that of other eucalyptus foliage used in floristry.

When Shannon Blue is allowed to grow unpruned, it is a vigorous columnar tree of good form, maintaining production of glaucous foliage and powder-blue young bark.

The name of the variety refers to Shannon Lagoon in the Western Tiers of Tasmania, which is the home of an endangered provenance of Eucalyptus gunnii.

A Shannon Blue planted in May 2008 and managed as hedge for foliage production by Uklyptus, a commercial grower of eucalyptus foliage in north Wales. Photo Sept 2010. Shannon Blue re-grew well following foliage harvests in late 2010 and the subsequent severe winter at this location

An unpruned Shannon Blue in September 2011, 4.5 years from planting, Kent, UK. Height is approximately 7 metres. This tree was undamaged following the severe winter of 2010-2011. The transition to adult foliage has occurred in the upper crown, but adult foliage colour and glaucousness are unchanged and are striking in all seasons. Shannon Blue offers an interesting addition to the palette for garden landscape designers.

Outdoor-grown Shannon Blue in December 2011, Kent, UK. The foliage is still largely glaucous, but first signs of loss of the waxy glaucous bloom are evident

Shannon Blue stockplants in a ventilated polytunnel in Kent, UK in September 2011, managed for production of cuttings for rooting. The warmer conditions and automatic irrigation allow excellent growth, and the glaucousness is not lost in the protected environment. Most of the foliage visible in the photo had been produced in the previous 3 months. The growth under these conditions suggests that Shannon Blue may be more productive if grown in warmer climates. The consistency of Shannon Blue’s foliage quality is very obvious.