Euclid - Online edition

Eucalyptus camphora subsp. camphora

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Swamp gum


Eucalyptus | Symphyomyrtus | Maidenaria | Triangulares | Foveolatae

Eucalyptus camphora R.T.Baker Proc. Linn. Soc. New South Wales 24: 298 (1899) subsp. camphora.

E. ovata var. camphora (R.T.Baker) Maiden, Crit. Revis. Eucalyptus 3: 148 (1917). T: Ganguddy Ck, Rylstone, NSW, 1895, R.T.Baker s.n.; syn: NSW; Nanango, NSW, 1897, R.T.Baker s.n.; syn: herbarium of cited specimen unknown to us.

E. ovata var. aquatica Blakely, Key Eucalypts 140 (1934). E. aquatica (Blakely) L.A.S.Johnson & K.D.Hill, Telopea 4: 56 (1990). T: Wingello, NSW, Nov. 1903, A.Murphy 6; (NSW).

E. camphora subsp. relicta L.A.S.Johnson & K.D.Hill, Telopea 4: 54–5 (1990). T: Qld., Girraween National Park, 30 Aug. 1982, N. Byrnes 4094; holo: NSW, iso BRI, CANB.
Tree to 10 m tall, or mallee. Forming a lignotuber.
Bark smooth throughout or partly rough on trunk; rough bark either loose basal slabs, or a short stocking, blackish compacted; smooth bark white-grey to grey-green or yellow-grey, sometimes slightly powdery.
Juvenile growth (coppice or field seedlings to 50 cm): stem rounded in cross-section, usually smooth; juvenile leaves petiolate, opposite for 3 to 7 nodes, becoming alternate, orbicular to elliptical, 3.5–7 cm long, 1.5–3.5 cm wide, base tapering, apex rounded or emarginate, margin sometimes subcrenulate, green or blue-green.
Adult leaves alternate, petiole 0.5–2.5 cm long; blade broadly lanceolate to elliptical to ovate, 5–13 cm long, 1.5–3 cm wide, base tapering to petiole, margin entire, apex pointed, rounded or emarginate, concolorous or slightly discolorous, glossy or dull, usually green to blue-green, side-veins at an acute or wider angle to midrib, moderately to densely reticulate, intramarginal vein parallel to and well removed from margin, oil glands numerous, mostly island.
Inflorescence axillary unbranched, peduncles 0.4–1.8 cm long, buds 7 per umbel, pedicels 0.2–0.4 cm long. Mature buds diamond-shaped (0.55–0.8 cm long, 0.25–0.5 cm wide), green to yellow, scar present, operculum conical to slightly beaked (0.3–0.5 cm long), stamens inflexed, anthers cuboid to cuneate, versatile, dorsifixed, dehiscing by longitudinal slits (non-confluent), style long, stigma blunt or tapered, locules 3 or 4, the placentae each with 4 vertical ovule rows. Flowers white.
Fruit normally pedicellate, rarely sessile (pedicels (0)0.1–0.3 cm long),obconical or hemispherical, 0.3–0.6 cm long, 0.6–0.7 cm wide, disc raised-convex or -annular, or disc level, valves 3 or 4, slightly exserted or near rim level.
Seeds dark brown to black, 1.2–2 mm long, ovoid or flattened-ovoid, often pointed at one end, usually lacunose, dorsal surface smooth or shallowly pitted, hilum ventral.

Cultivated seedlings (measured at ca node 10): cotyledons bilobed to oblong; stems usually rounded in cross-section; leaves sessile to shortly petiolate, opposite for 4 to 7 nodes then alternate with the petioles becoming longer, ovate-elliptic, 3–8 cm long, 1.5–4.2 cm wide, base rounded to tapering, margin entire or subcrenulate, apex rounded, more or less concolorous, dull, mid-green to slightly bluish green.
Flowering Time

Flowering has been recorded in January and February.

Eucalyptus camphora is a species of small to medium-sized swamp gum trees of low-lying areas of the high plains and valleys extending sporadically from southern Queensland through New South Wales and Victoria. It has the typical swamp gum double conic buds and obconical fruit.

In EUCLID we recognize two subspecies:

E. camphora subsp. camphora
Distinguished by the low stature and small, elliptical leaves often with rounded to emarginate tips. Has a scattered distribution from the Girraween National Park in southern Queensland, then south across the border into New South Wales to just south-east of Glen Innes on the Northern Tablelands to east of Rylstone to south-east of Mittagong. The two northern populations were described as E. Camphora subsp. relicta and the southern population as E. Aquatica. Both are regarded by the authors of EUCLID as not being sufficently distinct from E. Camphora subsp. camphora to warrant recognition.

E. camphora subsp. humeana
Subspecies humeana is the more conspicuous form in mountains from north-west of Canberra extending south through Bombala and Kosciuszko National Park into eastern Victoria extending as far west as the Warby Range and Broadford. It has broad, glossy leaves that are often pendulous in the crown and because of this can easily be recognised from a distance in swampy sites.

Eucalyptus camphora belongs in Eucalyptus subgenus Symphyomyrtus section Maidenaria because the cotyledons are bilobed, inflorescences axillary, anthers versatile and seeds flattened-ovoid. Within this large section, E. camphora is one of ten species forming subsection Triangulares series Foveolatae. The species are E. Barberi and E. Rodwayi (both Tasmanian endemics), E. Brookeriana, E. Ovata (both occurring in Tasmania and on the mainland) and E. Aggregata, E. Cadens, E. Camphora, E. Macarthurii, E. Strzeleckii and E. Yarraensis (found only on the mainland). E. camphora is closest to E. Ovata and E. Yarraensis, but is distinguished by its broader, long petiolate adult leaves from E. Ovata, and differs noticeably from E. Yarraensis, which has extensive rough bark and smaller fruit.

E. Aquatica, regarded by the authors of EUCLID as synonymous with E. Camphora subsp. camphora, is listed as "Vulnerable" under the Australian Government Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999 (EPBC Act). Further information may be found at this web address:
Origin of Name
Eucalyptus camphora: refers to camphor in the essential oils of the leaf.
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