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Eucalyptus aromaphloia subsp. sabulosa

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Western scent bark


Eucalyptus | Symphyomyrtus | Maidenaria | Triangulares | Acaciiformes

Eucalyptus aromaphloia subsp. sabulosa (Rule) Slee & Brooker, in Brooker, M.I.H. & Kleinig, D.A., Field Guide to Eucalypts vol. 1 page  345 (revised edition).

Eucalyptus sabulosa Rule, Muelleria 9: 138 (1996). T: 23 km south of Nhill, Victoria, 4 May 1981, G.C.Cornwall 340; holo: MEL 641778.
Tree to 15 m tall. Forming a lignotuber.
Bark rough to small branches or branches < 8 cm diameter smooth; rough bark thick, furrowed longitudinally, dark grey to blackish, densely fibrous, sometimes with horizontal black scars, smooth branches salmon-coloured, sometimes with ribbons of decorticated bark in the upper branches.
Juvenile growth (coppice or field seedlings to 50 cm): stem rounded in cross-section, warty or smooth; juvenile leaves usually shortly petiolate, opposite for 7 to ca 20 nodes then becoming alternate (but may revert to opposite for a few nodes), narrowly lanceolate, narrowly oblong to linear or narrowly falcate 2.5–9 cm long, 0.4–1.2 cm wide, margin entire or crenulate, usually green, new growing tips not glaucous.
Adult leaves alternate, petiole 0.5–2 cm long; blade narrowly lanceolate to falcate, 7.5–16 cm long, 1–2 cm wide, base tapering to petiole, margin entire, concolorous, slightly glossy or dull, green, side-veins greater than 45° to midrib, moderately to densely reticulate, intramarginal vein parallel to and well removed from margin, oil glands island or intersectional.
Inflorescence axillary unbranched, peduncles 0.3–0.7 cm long, buds 7 per umbel, pedicels 0.1–0.2 cm long. Mature buds ovoid to fusiform, 0.5–0.7 cm long, 0.3–0.4 cm wide, yellow or green, scar present, operculum conical, stamens inflexed or irregularly flexed, anthers cuneate or cuboid, versatile, dorsifixed, dehiscing by longitudinal slits (non-confluent), style long, locules 3 or 4, the placentae each with 4 vertical ovule rows. Flowers white.
Fruit sessile or pedicellate (pedicels 0–0.1 cm long), cup-shaped, hemispherical or obconical, 0.3–0.4 cm long, 0.4–0.6 cm wide, disc raised or level, valves 3 or 4, strongly exserted.
Seeds dark brown or black, 1–2 mm long, ovoid or flattened-ovoid, usually lacunose, dorsal surface shallowly pitted, hilum ventral.

Cultivated seedlings (measured at ca node 10): cotyledons bilobed to oblong; stems rounded in cross-section; leaves sessile to shortly petiolate, opposite for 7 to 20 nodes then alternate, linear to narrowly oblong, 4–14 cm long, 0.7–2 cm wide, base tapering, apex rounded, margin subcrenulate, green to greyish green.
Flowering Time

Flowering has been recorded in February, March and April.

Eucalyptus aromaphloia is a small to medium-sized tree species endemic to Victoria, occurring roughly west from a line between Daylesford and Anglesea west to about Casterton.

E. aromaphloia belongs in Eucalyptus subgenus Symphyomyrtus section Maidenaria, a large group of species more or less restricted to south-eastern Australia, characterised by bilobed cotyledons, simple axillary inflorescences, buds with two opercula, stamens with versatile anthers and flattened seeds with a ventral hilum. Within this section E. aromaphloia and five other species form series Acaciiformes diagnosed by the rough bark, juvenile leaves that are soon alternate, glandular adult leaves, non-swampy habitat, and small, rather flat-topped fruit. Three of these species,  E. aromaphloia, E. fulgens and E. ignorabilis are restricted to southern Victoria and far south-eastern New South Wales and can easily be confused.

E. aromaphloia is distinguished from E. fulgens, which occurs east from Melbourne to the Driffield area, by its more or less dull green to blue-green adult leaves (glossy green in E. fulgens) and elliptic to linear juvenile leaves (ovate-lanceolate in E. fulgens).The third species, E. ignorabilis, occurs in east Gippsland and far south-eastern New South Wales, and has a dull, geen-leaved crown and ovate-lanceolate juvenile leaves and more fibrous, less furrowed rough bark than either E. aromaphloia or E. fulgens.

Of the remaining three species in series Acaciiformes, E. acaciiformis and E. nicholii occur in north-eastern New South Wales and should not be confused. E. corticosa is very close to E. aromaphloia in all but distribution (see details below).

E. aromaphloia has been confused with E. viminalis subsp. cygnetensis, but the former differs by the whole trunk being rough-barked, often deeply furrowed like an ironbark, by the juvenile leaves which taper at the base to a very short petiole, never stem-clasping. Eucalyptus splendens from south-western Victoria and south-eastern South Australia differs from E. aromaphloia in having seedling and juvenile growth with square stems, not rounded, bearing leaves opposite for many nodes.

There are two subspecies:

E. aromaphloia subsp. aromaphloia
This has elliptical to oblong usually bluish green juvenile leaves and occurs from the eastern Grampians east to the Daylesford area and south to Anglesea.

E. aromaphloia subsp. sabulosa
This subspecies occurs predominantly from the central Grampians west to the Little Desert and south-west to Cavendish, but also between Vaughan and Drummond in central Victoria, and has linear, greener juvenile leaves. The two subspecies grade into each other. E. corticosa, a restricted endemic near Rylstone in central western New South Wales, is very close to subsp. sabulosa and differs only marginally by usually having smooth bark on the larger branches.

Origin of Name
Eucalyptus aromaphloia: Greek aroma, smell and phloios, bark, referring to the supposed smell of the bark.

subsp. sabulosa: Latin sabulosa, sandy, referring to the habitat.
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