Eucalyptus | Eudesmia | Limbatae | Heteropterae | Tetraedrae
Eucalyptus eudesmioides subsp. Pallida
Eucalyptus pallida L.A.S.Johnson & K.D.Hill, Telopea 7: 389 (1998). T: Western Australia: 8 km N of Wannoo on highway (26° 49'S, 114° 37'E), 26 May 1983, D.F.Blaxell 1981, L.A.S.Johnson, M.I.H.Brooker & S.D.Hopper; holo: NSW; iso: CANB, MEL, PERTH.
Bark rough on the lower 2 m, grey to brown, fibrous, flaky, smooth above, white, sometimes cream to brown to green.
Branchlets glaucous and with oil glands present in the pith (sometimes obscurely so).
Juvenile growth (coppice or field seedlings to 50 cm): stems rounded in cross-section or sometimes squared, glaucous, hairy to glabrous; juvenile leaves opposite and sessile, ovate to cordate, 2–7.5 cm long, 1.5–2.5 cm wide, base amplexicaul only on lowest leaves becoming rounded, apex round to acute, usually glaucous, occasionally grey-green, hairy on youngest growth to glabrous.
Adult leaves opposite to sub-opposite, shortly petiolate, petioles 0.1–1 cm long; blade lanceolate, 4–9 cm long, 0.8–2(2.6) cm wide, base tapering to petiole, concolorous, dull, glaucous, side-veins acute, reticulation sparse, intramarginal vein present, oil glands mostly island.
Inflorescence axillary single, peduncles 0.3–0.9 cm long, buds 3 per umbel, pedicels 0.3–0.5 cm long. Mature buds obovoid, ca 0.5 cm long, ca 0.4 cm wide, hypanthium four angled, glaucous, outer perianth whorl minutely sepaline, inner whorl operculate, operculum rounded to flattened, stamens grouped in four clusters, inflexed, anthers oblong, versatile, dorsifixed, dehiscing by longitudinal slits (non-confluent), style short, stigma tapered, locules usually 3 or 4, the ovules arranged in 4 distinct vertical rows on the placentae. Flowers whitish.
Fruit pedicellate (pedicels 0.2–0.4 cm long), cylindrical to barrel-shaped, 0.8–1(1.4) cm long, 0.5–1.0 cm wide, glaucous, usually four-angled, disc descending, valves 3 or 4, enclosed or near the rim.
Seeds dark brown to black, flattened-ovoid with a ragged flange around the edge, sides ribbed, 3–4 mm long, dorsal surface shallowly lacunose, surface smooth not deeply pitted, hilum ventral.
Cultivated seedlings (measured at node 10): cotyledons reniform; stems round in cross-section, usually glaucous and hairy, leaves sessile to shortly petiolate, opposite, ovate to cordate, 2.5–4.5 cm long, 1.5–3 cm wide, grey-green to glaucous, margins entire or irregularly toothed, apex rounded, base amplexicaul to rounded, lamina hairy.
Flowering has been recorded in May.
Eucalyptus eudesmioides is a species of mallee endemic to Western Australia, extending from the northern part of the Darling Range and western part of the northern wheatbelt to Shark Bay; also further north at Warroora (fide D. Nicolle). The bark is smooth throughout or loose and flaky at the base. Adult leaves are opposite to sub-opposite and shortly petiolate and inflorescences are three-flowered.
It contrasts with the closely related E. gittinsii, which has larger, distinctly petiolate, sub-opposite to alternate adult leaves and which is prominent in the Kalbarri region.
In earlier editions of EUCLID we regarded the following as three (informal) subspecies but the third of these is now included at species level:
E. eudesmioides subsp. eudesmioides
The leaves are dull, light green to grey-green and it occurs from the wheatbelt to Kalbarri with an outlier near Warroora.
E. eudesmioides subsp. Pallida
A mallee or small tree, the branchlets, leaves, buds and fruits are glaucous. It occurs in the Wannoo-Shark Bay area and to east of Woodleigh station.
A mallee restricted to south of Shark Bay and distinctive by the glossy green leaves, and fruit which are a little larger but with some overlap in dimensions.
All three taxa are regarded by other authors as species.
Eucalyptus eudesmioides belongs in Eucalyptus subgenus Eudesmia because of the combination of cotyledons reniform in shape and folded and clasping in embryo, buds with the calyx free and evident as four small teeth around the midline of the bud. (Sections Ebbanoenses and Reticulatae in this subgenus have the calyx fused to the corolla and evident as four small teeth at the apex of the bud.) Within subgenus Eudesmia, E. eudesmioides belongs in the Section Limbatae, series Heteropterae, subseries Tetraedrae, that is further characterised by having seedling leaves with stellate hairs, the presence of oil glands in the pith of the branchlets, stamens arranged in four bundles, flanged ± pyramidal seeds and buds and fruit square in cross-section. The other species in subseries Tetraedrae are E. gittinsii, E. pleurocarpa, E. conveniens, E. extrica, E. erythrocorys and E. roycei. All these species are easily separated from E. eudesmioides by having larger adult leaves, usually wider than 1.5 cm.
subsp. Pallida: Latin pallidus, pallid, referring to the pale glaucous parts.
subsp. Selachiana: stated in the protologue as from "the neo-Latin zoological group name Selachii, sharks and related fishes", alluding to Shark Bay.