Water gum is a slow-growing evergreen tree growing up to 18 metres tall. The bole can be 30 - 60cm in diameter.
The tree is harvested from the wild for its timber. It is planted for ornament in the subtropical areas of its range.
Tristaniopsis laurina, the water gum or kanooka, is a tree species native to Australia. It usually grows near the eastern coastline and along the banks of streams, where the trunks and branches tend to be shaped in the direction of the current and give an indication of the flood height.
Tristaniopsis laurina has a slow rate of growth, and usually reaches 15–30 feet (4.6–9.1 m) tall. The tree is multi-branched, and may be pruned to maintain a compact shape. It can grow to be 128 feet (39 m) tall in native habitats.
The flowers are bright yellow and have a distinctive and, to some, unpleasant odour.They attract honeybees as well as small native species of bee. They usually bloom in the late spring or early summer.