Eucalyptus is recognised as containing somewhat more than 450 species, but this number could reasonably be either decreased or increased considerably by slight variations of species concept. Recognition of taxa, at least in the wild, is less difficult than supposed but their ranking depends on degree and nature of discontinuities or steepened gradients of correlated variation, in this group of diploid sexual outbreeding trees of the dominant stratum. Some 8–10 rather distinct lines marked by different character constellations are discernible inEucalyptus s. lat. (incl.Angophora), and it is clear that the floral operculum is of diverse nature and multiple origin. The advisability of recognising several distinct genera depends on the wideness of polyphylesis in relation to other Myrtaceous genera, and (unfortunately) on practical convenience.
AngiospermaeMyrtaceaeEucalyptusGeneric delimitation species concept inflorescence phyletics polyphylesis