Eucalyptus balanites Interim Recovery Plan 2004-2009
Department of Environment and Conservation, Western Australia
Eucalyptus balanites is an erect, robust tree mallee, 5-8 metres tall and up to 15 metres wide. It is a sprawling tree with rough flaky grey bark up to the branchlets. Seedling leaves are opposite for 6-10 pairs, petiolate, oblong to elliptical, to 4.5 x 2.5 cm and dull green. Juvenile leaves are alternating, petiolate, elliptical, to 6.3 x 3.5 cm and dull green. Adult leaves are alternating, petiolate, lanceolate to 10 x 2 cm, green, dull or slightly glossy; with very numerous side veins. Inflorescences are unbranched, 11-flowered, and 1-2 cm long. Stamens are inflexed, all fertile, cream; and anthers are versatile. The style is twisted near the base. The fruit is very shortly pedicellate and hemispherical, usually with four slightly exserted valves. The seed is dark grey with longitudinal grooves. Flowers can be seen from October to February (Grayling and Brooker 1992).
Eucalyptus decipiens is closely related to E. balanites. E. balanites differs in its loose, rough bark, the elliptical juvenile leaves, which are rarely emarginate, the acorn-like buds with the usually rounded opercula, the globoid anthers, and the usually cupular fruit (Grayling and Brooker 1992). E. decipiens has heart-shaped juvenile leaves, spindle-shaped buds with a pointed, conical or beaked cap and rough bark over part or all of the trunk (Brown et al. 1998). The species may be a hybrid with E. decipiens and E. lane-poolei as the most likely parents, but if so there is no significant segregation in the seedlings and it appears to be stabilized (Grayling 1989).
The Swan Region population (Population 2) of Eucalyptus balanites is taller, and more spreading in growth habit than the Moora District population. However, there is likely to be some variations in growth habits between, and even within populations, due to the taxon being a possible hybrid. However, Population 1 consists of at least two genetically distinct individuals (Grayling 1989).