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Eucalyptus argophloia (Family Myrtaceae)

Queensland White Gum, Queensland Western White Gum, Lapunyah, Scrub Gum, White Gum

Distribution:

This species has a very restricted distribution in a few scattered woodlands in south-eastern Queensland to the north-east of Chinchilla. The latitude is around 26o S and the altitude 300-340 m. (QLD)

Features:

A tall tree reaching 40 m or more in height, with its trunk clear of branches for more than half of the total height. The bark is smooth and usually white but varies in colour throughout the year. Adult leaves are narrow, 10-15 cm long and 15-25 mm wide and glossy green on both surfaces. The inflorescence is formed of seven flowers, with small ovoid or almost globular buds, sometimes with a small beak. The fruit is a woody capsule, 3-5 mm long and 4-7 mm wide with 4-6 valves and a short stalk. Flowering occurs in May - August. There are about 1.3 million viable seeds per kilogram and they germinate readily in suitable conditions without pre-treatment.

Ecology/Way of Life:

This white gum occurs in the warm sub-humid zone, where there are 10-15 frosts a year. Mean annual rainfall is about 650 mm with a moderate summer maximum and high variability. The stands are on the edges of flats in gentle terrain and soils are grey or brown cracking clays or red loams. It is a component of open-forest commonly associated with Acacia harpophylla, Eucalyptus moluccana and E. populnea.

Interaction with Humans/Threats:

The wood is useful for poles, posts, general construction and firewood. The heartwood is deep red, hard, heavy and strong. The species is extensively planted for ornament and shade in western areas of Queensland. Oil from the leaves has potential for medicinal use but concentrations in the leaves is low. It has rarely been planted in other countries and when tried in Zimbabwe it was highly susceptible to termite attack. The conservation status of this species is poor as it occurs mainly on farmlands and is inadequately reserved.

Other Comments:

Eucalyptus argophloia was named by W.F. Blakely in 1934; the generic name comes from the Greek eu = well and calyptos = covered, referring to the cap or lid (operculum) which covers the stamens in the bud; the species name is formed from the Greek argos = bright white, and phloios = bark, referring to the white bark.

Further Reading:

Boland, D.J., Brooker, M.I.H., Chippendale, G.M., Hall, N., Hyland, B.P.M., Kleinig, D.A., Johnston, R.D. and Turner, J.D. 1984. Forest trees of Australia. 4th ed. Nelson and CSIRO, Melbourne. 687p.

Brooker, M.I.H. and Kleinig, D.A. 1994. Field guide to the eucalypts. Vol. 3: Northern Australia. Inkata Press, Melbourne. 383p.

Chippendale, G.M. 1988. Eucalyptus, Angophora, (Myrtaceae). Flora of Australia. Vol. 19. Australian government Printing Service, Canberra. 540p.

Doran, J.C. and Turnbull, J.W. (eds.) 1997. Australian trees and shrubs; species for land rehabilitation and farm planting in the tropics. ACIAR Monograph no. 24. Australian Centre for International Agricultural Research, Canberra. 384 p.

Topics: Soils Timber Windbreak Threatened species Climatic zones Vegetation types Medicinal use Germination Aboriginal resources Firewood Ornamental Aromatic oils

Acknowledgments:

Text & map from Australian Trees and Shrubs, courtesy Australian Centre for International Agricultural Research; text edited by J. Turnbull; photo courtesy D. Kleinig.

Sponsored by:

David Kleinig/ACIAR


 

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