Eucalyptus leucoxylon subsp. megalocarpa
Eucalyptus | Symphyomyrtus | Adnataria | Terminales | Melliodorae | Leucoxylon
T: Dingley Dell, Port MacDonnell, S.A., 1 May 1970, D.J.Boland 158; holo: CANB.
Bark smooth throughout, or with some incompletely shed rough, fibrous to flaky, grey to yellowish brown bark on basal 0.5–2 m of trunk; smooth bark yellowish with blue-grey and cream patches; horizontal bark scars sometimes present; branchlets not glaucous.
Juvenile growth (coppice or field seedlings to 50 cm): stem rounded or square in cross-section, not glaucous; juvenile leaves opposite and sessile for 20 to 25 pairs, deltoid, ovate or cordate, 4.5–10 cm long, 3–7 cm wide, margin entire or crenulate, base amplexicaul to rounded, green or slightly blue-green to grey-green, not glaucous.
Adult leaves alternate, petiole 0.8–3.5 cm long; blade lanceolate to ovate to falcate, 8–19.5 cm long, 1.5–5.2 cm wide, base tapering to petiole, concolorous, glossy or dull, green, rarely blue-green or grey-green, not glaucous, side-veins at an acute or wider angle to midrib, densely to very densely reticulate, intramarginal vein well removed from margin, oil glands island and intersectional.
Inflorescence axillary unbranched, peduncles erect or pendulous, 0.5–1.7 cm long, buds 3 per umbel, pedicels 0.7–1.7 cm long). Mature buds globular to ovoid, 1.2–1.8 cm long, 0.6–0.9 cm wide, green to yellow or creamy, scar absent, operculum beaked to conical, stamens inflexed, with outer staminodes, anthers adnate, positioned obliquely at filament tip, cuboid, dehiscing by terminal pores, style long, stigma pin-head shaped, locules 4 to 6, the placentae each with 4 or 6 vertical ovule rows. Flowers white, red or pink.
Fruit pedicellate (pedicels 0.7–2.2 cm long), cup-shaped to barrel-shaped or truncate-globose, 1.1–1.5 cm long, 1.2–1.6 cm wide, staminal ring broad, deciduous, disc descending, valves 4 to 6, enclosed.
Seeds black, brown or grey, 1–2 mm long, ovoid or flattened-ovoid, often pointed at one end, dorsal surface shallowly pitted, hilum ventral.
Cultivated seedlings (measured at ca node 10): cotyledons reniform to oblong; stems rounded to square in cross-section; leaves sessile, opposite for many nodes (at least 13), broadly ovate or cordate, 5–8 cm long, 4–7 cm wide, base amplexicaul to rounded, dull, green.
Flowering has been recorded in May, July and August.
Eucalyptus leucoxylon subsp. megalocarpa has been recorded as spreading from roadside plantings along the Bacchus Marsh to Gisborne road in Victoria.
There are four subspecies recognised in EUCLID:
E. leucoxylon subsp. leucoxylon
Occurs in well watered areas on Kangaroo Island and in the Mt Lofty Range, South Australia, and western Victoria. It is a tree to 25 m tall, non-glaucous, with ovoid buds and pedicels at least as long as the fruit. Eucalyptus leucoxylon subsp. connata from the Melbourne to Werribee and Bacchus Marsh area is included here.
E. leucoxylon subsp. pruinosa
Occurs in drier areas of south-eastern South Australia, the Wimmera and Goldfields areas of Victoria, and in New South Wales, where restricted to the Murray River floodplain near Barham. Often on deeper soils but also on stony rises. It is a tree to 25 m tall with smaller, globular, often glaucous buds and fruits. The juvenile leaves are blue-green to glaucous and sometimes connate. The mature crown may contain a proportion of bluish juvenile and intermediate leaves. This subspecies includes subsp. bellarinensis from south of Geelong. Also included is the narrow-leaved var. pauperita from the northern Mt Lofty Ranges, lower slopes of Mt Remarkable and hills south of Orroroo, Peterborough and also the foot of Mt Bryan near Burra. .
E. leucoxylon subsp. stephaniae
Occurs in the sandy areas east of Meningie and the upper south-east of South Australia and the Big Desert and Little Desert of western Victoria. It is a tree or mallee to 15 m tall, non-glaucous, with smaller juvenile leaves that are never stem-clasping or connate, shorter juvenile phase and smaller buds and fruit than the other subspecies.
E. leucoxylon subsp. megalocarpa
Strictly coastal in the far south-east of South Australia and adjacent areas of far western Victoria (e.g. the lower Glenelg River). It is a stunted tree or mallee to 15 m tall, is non-glaucous, and is distinguished by the large buds and fruit (to 1.6 cm wide) with long pedicels.
Pink or red flowers may occur in subsp. leucoxylon, subsp. megalocarpa and occasionally in subsp. stephaniae. A fifth form of E. leucoxylon is given species status, E. petiolaris (q.v.), and is endemic to Eyre Peninsula of South Australia.
Eucalyptus leucoxylon belongs in Eucalyptus subgenus Symphyomyrtus section Adnataria because the buds have two opercula, ovules are in four rows, seeds are flattened-ovoid, cotyledons are reniform, and anthers are rigid on the staminal filaments. Within section Adnataria, E. leucoxylon is part of a small subgroup series Melliodorae, further characterised by having buds in axillary clusters, the outer operculum being retained until flowering when both opercula are shed together, and the flowers having outer stamens that are sterile whilst inner stamens are fertile, and a broad staminal ring that can often be seen on the fruit but ultimately is deciduous. Other species in series Melliodorae are the box-barked E. melliodora, which is widespread from the Consuelo Tableland in central Queensland through eastern New South Wales and Victoria as far as the Grampians; the smooth-barked E. petiolaris mentioned above; and the two ironbarks, E. sideroxylon and E. tricarpa, from New South Wales and Victoria.
subsp. megalocarpa: Greek megalo-, large and karpos, fruit, referring to the fruit size compared with the other subspecies.