Euclid - Online edition

Eucalyptus resinifera subsp. resinifera

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Red mahogany, Red messmate


Eucalyptus | Symphyomyrtus | Latoangulatae | Annulares

Eucalyptus resinifera Sm. in J.White, J.Voy. NSW 231 (1790) subsp. resinifera.

T: Port Jackson, NSW, J.White s.n.; holo: BM.

Eucalyptus resinifera var. grandiflora Benth., Fl. Austral. 3: 246 (1867). T: Manly Beach, NSW, W.Woolls; isosyn: MEL; locality unknown, W. Caley; syn.

Eucalyptus macta L.A.S.Johnson & K.D.Hill, Telopea 8 (4) 508 (2000). T: Queensland: Wild River, 2.5 km east of Herberton on Atherton road, K.D.Hill 1115, L.A.S.Johnson & D.Blaxell, 15 Aug 1984; holo: NSW; iso: BRI, CANB, DNA.
Tree to 45 m tall. Forming a lignotuber.
Bark rough to small branches, stringy or fibrous, grey or grey-brown to red-brown, held in long, flat strips with shallow fissures in between.
Juvenile growth (coppice or field seedlings to 50 cm): stem rounded or square in cross-section; juvenile leaves always petiolate, opposite for ca 4 to 6 nodes then alternate, lanceolate, 6.5–15.5 cm long, 1.7–4.5 cm wide, base tapering to petiole, discolorous, dull, green.
Adult leaves alternate, petiole 1.5–2.5 cm long; blade lanceolate to falcate, (7)8–18 cm long, (1.4)2–3.6(4) cm wide, base tapering to petiole, apex tapering to a long fine point, discolorous, glossy, darker green above, paler below, strongly penniveined, densely to very densely reticulate, intramarginal vein parallel to and just within margin, oil glands island.
Inflorescence axillary unbranched, peduncles 1–2.2 cm long, buds 7, 9 or 11, pedicellate (pedicels 0.5–0.8 cm long). Mature buds slightly ovoid to fusiform (1–1.6 cm long, 0.4–0.7 cm wide), green to yellow or creamy to red, smooth, usually without ridges, sometimes slightly ridged longitudinally, scar present, operculum < 0.9 cm long, conical to horn-shaped to beaked, stamens inflexed or irregularly flexed, sometimes with the longer outer filaments erect and inner filaments partly inflexed, all fertile, anthers cuboid to oblong, versatile, dorsifixed, dehiscing by longitudinal slits (non-confluent), style long, stigma tapered, locules 3 or 4, the placentae each with 6 vertical ovule rows. Flowers white.
Fruit pedicellate (pedicels 0.2–1.1 cm long), hemispherical, obconical or cup-shaped, 0.3–0.8 cm long, 0.6–1 cm wide, disc raised-convex or level or descending obliquely, valves 3 or 4, strongly exserted.
Seeds brown, 0.9–2 mm long, pyramidal to cuboid, sometimes flattened, dorsal surface shallowly pitted to smooth, hilum ventral or terminal.

Cultivated seedlings (measured at ca node 10): cotyledons bilobed; stems square in cross-section; leaves always petiolate, opposite for 4 to 6 nodes then alternate, ovate-lanceolate, 7.5–15.5 cm long, 1.5–4 cm wide, base rounded to tapering, discolorous, dark green above, paler beneath.
Flowering Time

Flowering has been recorded in December.

Eucalyptus resinifera has been used in the timber industry for general construction, flooring, cladding, panelling, sills, bridge decking. Aboriginal people used it for timber and also medicinal purposes. It is also used by apiarist for the production of honey.


Eucalyptus resinifera is a medium-sized to tall tree species of coastal eastern Australia occurring over a wide latitudinal range from Huskisson on Jervis Bay on the south coast of New South Wales north into Queensland almost to Gladstone, with further sporadic occurrences on the higher ground in the Nebo–Eungella region, the Mt Spec – Paluma region, the Atherton Tablelands and the Lankelly Creek – McIlwraith range region of Cape York. It is found on slopes and flats, often sheltered and wetter sites and in more northern occurrences even in rainforest. One of the red mahoganies, E. resinifera, shares the very thick, rough, fibrous bark, strongly discolorous leaves with wide-angled venation, and fruit with exserted valves.

Eucalyptus resinifera belongs in Eucalyptus subgenus Symphyomyrtus section Latoangulatae because cotyledons are bilobed, leaves are discolorous and have side-veins at a wide angle to the midrib, buds have two opercula and fruit have exserted valves. Within this section, E. resinifera is one of seven species forming series Annulares (the red mahoganies), as it has ovules in six or eight rows, seeds cuboid to pyramidal and bark rough over the trunk. The other six species are E. pellita, from coastal north Queensland and New Guinea; E. urophylla, from Timor and other islands to the north-west of Australia; E. scias, endemic to New South Wales from the coastal and subcoastal ranges, principally from Batemans Bay north to Cessnock with a disjunct occurence east of Tenterfield (subsp. apoda); E. notabilis, scattered in coastal and subcoastal New South Wales and south-eastern Queensland; E. robusta, widespread in coastal New South Wales and Queensland; and E. botryoides, from coastal eastern Victoria and southern New South Wales.

It differs from the closely related E. pellita, E. notabilis, E. scias and E. urophylla by the slender fusiform, distinctly pedicellate buds which have an acute operculum, where the base of the operculum is normally not wider than the hypanthium. (E. pellita, E. notabilis, E. scias and E. urophylla normally have fatter buds, where the base of the operculum is wider than the hypanthium.) E. robusta has larger buds and cylindrical fruit with valves remaining joined across the orifice. E. botryoides has sessile to shortly pedicellate oblong buds and cylindrical to barrel-shaped fruit.

There are two subspecies:

E. resinifera subsp. resinifera
Has a short, conical operculum, with the stamens regularly to irregularly flexed in the bud. Occurs in two disjunct regions, in coastal areas from Jervis Bay north to about Kempsey in New South Wales and then much further north into Queensland where it occurs on the higher ground in the Nebo–Eugella region, the Mt Spec – Paluma region, the Atherton Tablelands and the Lankelly Creek – McIlwraith range region of Cape York. (The northern populations were recently described by Hill & Johnson (2000) as E. macta. The authors of EUCLID can find no consistent substantial differences between the north Queensland and more southerly  populations and have therefore relegated E. macta to synonymy with E. resinifera subsp. resinifera.)

E. resinifera subsp. hemilampra
Subsp. hemilampra has a long, much narrower operculum, with most of the stamens erect in the bud. Occurs from near Taree on the North Coast of New South Wales extending into Queensland, north to about Gladstone.

Origin of Name
Eucalyptus resinifera : Latin resiniferus, resin-bearing, probably referring to the bark.
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