Euclid - Online edition

Eucalyptus capillosa subsp. capillosa

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Wheatbelt wandoo


Eucalyptus | Symphyomyrtus | Bisectae | Glandulosae | Levispermae | Cubiformes

Eucalyptus capillosa Brooker & Hopper, Nuytsia 8: 41 (1991) subsp. capillosa.

T: 9.5 km N of Merredin on Nungarin road, Western Australia, 15 Sept. 1982, M.I.H.Brooker 7620; holo: PERTH; iso: CANB, NSW.
Trees to 12 m tall. Forming a lignotuber.
Bark smooth throughout, sometimes powdery, grey over salmon pink to yellow or bronze.
Branchlets often glaucous; pith always with oil glands.
Juvenile growth (coppice or field seedlings to 50 cm): stems rounded in cross-section, glaucous, densely scabrid; juvenile leaves always petiolate, opposite at lowest node only then becoming alternate, more or less lanceolate, 4–8.5 cm long, 2–4.5 cm wide, margin appearing irregular due to hairs, glaucous, scabrid until ca 50 cm tall.
Adult leaves alternate, petioles 1–2.7 cm long; blade lanceolate to elliptical, 7–12.5 cm long, 1–2.2 cm wide, base tapering to petiole, margin entire, apex pointed, concolorous, dull, grey-green to green, side-veins at an acute or wider angle to midrib, reticulation moderate to dense, intramarginal vein remote from margin, oil glands mostly intersectional.
Inflorescence axillary unbranched, peduncles widening apically, 0.6–1.8 cm long, buds 9 to 13 per umbel, pedicels 0.2–0.6 cm long. Mature buds fusiform (1–1.3 cm long, 0.25–0.4 cm wide), scar present, operculum conical, to twice as long as hypanthium and equal to it at the join, few outer stamens erect, most stamens variably deflexed, anthers oblong, versatile, dorsifixed, dehiscing by longitudinal slits, style long and straight, stigma more or less blunt, locules 3, the placentae each with 4 vertical rows of ovules. Flowers white.
Fruit pedicellate (pedicels 0.1–0.4 cm long), barrel-shaped to cylindrical, 0.5–0.7 cm long, 0.4–0.6 cm wide, disc descending, valves 3, near rim level or tips scarcely exserted.
Seeds pale brown to straw-coloured, 0.8–1.5 mm long, sub-spherical, surface smooth, hilum ventral/terminal.

Cultivated seedlings (measured at ca node 10): cotyledons Y-shaped (bisected); stems rounded in cross-section, glaucous, scabrid; leaves always petiolate, opposite for 4 to 8 nodes then alternate, ovate-lanceolate, 3.5–8.5 cm long, 1.2–3.5 cm wide, margin slightly to quite irregular or undulate, lamina and petiole conspicuously scabrid, glaucous. The hairs have a multicellular base surmounted by a pair of long cells that are basally appressed, and apically divergent.
Flowering Time

Flowering has been recorded in January and February.

Eucalyptus capillosa is a tree or mallee species endemic to Western Australia, found in the central and eastern wheatbelt. The bark is smooth, the adult leaves dull and the juvenile leaves are hairy-scabrid.

It belongs to Eucalyptus subgenus Symphyomyrtus section Bisectae subsection Glandulosae because the cotyledons are bisected, buds have an operculum scar and the branchlets have oil glands in the pith. Within this subsection E. capillosa is one of a group of 14 species that form series Levispermae subseries Cubiformes, characterised by having smooth almost cuboid to sub-spherical seed (not spherical), flattened peduncles that widen apically and buds that are narrowly fusiform with some stamens erect and others variably deflexed.

E. capillosa differs from all related species in series Levispermae, except E. nigrifunda and E. livida, by having scabrid seedling and juvenile leaves. It has a more inland distribution than the common and closely related tree E. wandoo. E. nigrifunda differs from E. capillosa only in having some rough blackish bark on the trunk and a more arid distribution on lateritic breakaways and associated flats in the Great Victoria Desert. E. capillosa differs from E. livida in always having glaucous branchlets. E. livida is non-glaucous and has a much greyer crown than E. capillosa and is restricted to rocky sites.

There are two subspecies:

E. capillosa subsp. capillosa
A tree more widely distributed than subsp. polyclada, forming woodlands on heavier soils but often on lateritic rises in its eastern occurrence. Occurs east from Pithara, Kellerberrin and Brookton to the Die Hardy Range and Southern Cross.

E. capillosa subsp. polyclada
A mallee of the central wheatbelt from Pithara north-east of Perth south-east to Wickepin and Burngup and east to the "Hyden Scrub", on sandy and gravelly sites, not associated with breakaways. Dubiously distinct from the typical subspecies, its mallee habit may reflect simply harsher growing conditions.
Origin of Name
Eucalyptus capillosa: Latin capillosus, hairy, referring to the seedlings.

subsp. polyclada: Greek, poly-, many and clados, branch, referring to the mallee form.
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