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The challenge

A diverse group that is hard to identify

EUCLID enables people to identify different eucalypt species.

Eucalypts are a diverse group of plants that form an iconic and essential part of Australia's natural environment. They are native to Australia, Papua New Guinea, Indonesia and the Philippines.

Understanding how many species we have and where they are found is key to knowing how to conserve, manage and use this resource. It relies heavily on taxonomic research.

Close monitoring and research of eucalypts is crucial for conservation. And as one of the world’s most widely planted hardwoods, eucalypts have high economic value.

With 934 native species, eucalypts are often referred to as 'gum trees' (which are a small group of eucalypts with smooth white bark). Identifying Australia's many different species of eucalypts correctly can be time-consuming and complex, particularly for people unfamiliar with their different botanical characteristics.

Our response

An ID key for industry, researchers, education and the public

A River Red Gum specimen in the Australian National Herbarium.

EUCLID is an identification key for eucalypts available for anyone to use for understanding or identifying eucalypts. It covers three genera: Angophora, Corymbia and Eucalyptus.

It was first published in 1996 as a CD-ROM product, with a later edition made available online in 2011. The updated 2020 version of EUCLID was launched on National Eucalypt Day, 23 March 2020. It is available as a smart phone app with a free version available online.

EUCLID was built using LUCIDTM software. The result is an identification tool that can be used regardless of which features of the plant are available to the user, such as bark, leaves, flowers, fruits, buds, seeds and juveniles. It also provides illustrations of features that are difficult to describe, such as leaf vein arrangements.

This information is complemented by more than 12,000 images that illustrate the main features of all species, and a map showing natural distributions.

EUCLID is built on the knowledge base of the Australian National Herbarium in the Centre for Australian National Biodiversity Research, which houses more than 65 000 eucalypt specimens.

The results

An easy-to-use, essential resource

Regarded as an international benchmark, EUCLID is the definitive electronic reference guide for Australian eucalypts. It is used by groups spanning forestry, research, conservation and education.

The redevelopment of EUCLID includes:

  • updated taxonomic concepts and content for all native species of Angophora, Corymbia and Eucalyptus
  • updated eucalypt profiles on the Flora of Australia (available late 2020)
  • support for extracting information to the proposed traits database on the Atlas of Living Australia
  • a smartphone app.

The Android and Apple App editions of EUCLID can be downloaded from the Google Play and iTunes app stores for $19.95.

EUCLID collaboration

EUCLID was produced as a collaboration between Identic Pty Ltd, the Australian Biological Resources Study and the Centre for Australian National Biodiversity Research. The Australian National Herbarium is part of the Centre for Australian National Biodiversity Research, a joint venture between Parks Australia’s Australian National Botanic Gardens and CSIRO.

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