Eucalyptus globulus is a tree that typically grows to a height of 45 m (148 ft) but may sometimes only be a stunted shrub, or alternatively under ideal conditions can grow as tall as 90–100 m (300–330 ft), and forms a lignotuber. The bark is usually smooth, white to cream-coloured but there are sometimes slabs of persistent, unshed bark at the base. Young plants, often several metres tall, and coppice regrowth have stems that are more or less square in cross-section with a prominent wing on each corner. Juvenile leaves are mostly arranged in opposite pairs, sessile, glaucous elliptic to egg-shaped, up to 150 mm (5.9 in) long and 105 mm (4.1 in) wide. Adult leaves are arranged alternately, the same glossy to dark green on both sides, lance-shaped or curved, 150–300 mm (5.9–11.8 in) long and 17–30 mm (0.67–1.18 in) wide on a petiole 1.5–6 mm (0.059–0.236 in) long. The flower buds are arranged singly or in groups of three or seven in leaf axils, sometimes sessile or on a short thick peduncle. The individual buds are also usually sessile, sometimes on a pedicel up to 5 mm (0.20 in) long. Mature buds are top-shaped to conical, glaucous or green, with a flattened hemispherical, warty operculum with a central knob. Flowering time varies with subspecies and distribution but the flowers are always white. The fruit is a woody conical or hemispherical capsule with the valves close to rim level.