Plants of
South Australia
Eucalyptus diversifolia ssp. diversifolia
Coastal White Mallee,
Soap Mallee
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Regional Species Conservation Assessments per IBRA subregion.
Least concern
Near threatened
Critically endangered
Data deficient
Coober Pedy
Mount Gambier
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Botanical art

Kath Alcock paintings: 4

Prior names

Eucalyptus diversifolia ssp. megacarpa

Eucalyptus viminalis, partly

Eucalyptus santalifolia

Common names

Coastal White Mallee

Soap Mallee


Eucalyptus from the Greek 'eu' meaning well and 'calyptos' meaning covered; alluding to the cap or lid which covers the stamens in the bud. Diversifolia from the Latin 'diversus' meaning diverse and 'folium' meaning a leaf; referring to the species different juvenile and adult leaf stages.

Distribution and status

Found on the southern Eyre and Yorke Peninsulas, Kangaroo Island, South-east and small scattered populations in the southern Mount Lofty Ranges in South Australia, growing on well-drained soils, on shallow sand overlying limestone or deeper sandy loams. Also found in Victoria. Native. Common in South Australia. Rare in Victoria.
Herbarium regions: Eyre Peninsula, Murray, Yorke Peninsula, Southern Lofty, Kangaroo Island, South Eastern, Green Adelaide
AVH map: SA distribution map (external link)

Plant description

Multi-stemmed trees to 10 m high with smooth bark, pale-grey when fresh, becoming dark and shedding in strips. Juvenile leaves to 55 mm wide, opposite, sessile or stem-clasping, ovate to broad-lanceolate, dull to glossy, green to blue-green. Adult leaves to 115 mm long and 25 mm wide, narrow-lanceolate to falcate, dull to glossy, dark green to blue-green. Flowers in group of 7-11 in leaf axils. Buds to 12 mm long and 7 mm wide, smooth, egg-shaped to diamond-shaped, bud-cap, about as long as or longer than the base. Flowers white appearing in winter and spring. This subspecies differ from Eucalyptus diversifolia ssp. hesperia which has a more narrower juvenile and adult leaves, smaller fruits and consistently level discs. Fruits are cup-shaped to cone-shaped to 12 mm long and 16 mm wide, disk usually raised or domed, valves 3 or 4 level with or just above the rim. Seeds are orange-brown sectoroid or pyramid-shaped seed to 2 mm long and 2 mm wide. Seed embryo type is folded.

Seed collection and propagation

Collect seeds between January and December. Collect mature fruits that are dark and hard (difficult to break with a finger nail), with the valves un-open any time of year. Leave the fruits in a breathable container in a dry room for one to two weeks. This allows the valves on the fruit to open and release the seeds. Separate the seeds by placing all the materials into a bucket and shaking it to dislodge the seeds. Pass the material through a sieve to separate the unwanted material. The finer material will contain both seeds (soft) and frass (hard) usually distinguishable from each other but can be very similar in shape and colour. With finer sieves, the seeds can be separated from the frass but this is not essential for storage or propagation. Store the seeds with a desiccant such as dried silica beads or dry rice, in an air tight container in a cool and dry place. From one collection, the seed viability was high, at 100%. Seeds are non-dormant, viable seed should germinate readily.

Seeds stored:
LocationNo. of seeds
(weight grams)
of plants
Collection number
Collection location
% ViabilityStorage
33,800 (71.7 g)
33,800 (71.7 g)
Kangaroo Island
23-Mar-2006 -18°C
BGA94,800 (118.61 g)124-Sep-2003PJA29
Eyre Peninsula
23-Mar-2006 -18°C
BGA10,400 (12.67 g)1228-Oct-2008KHB171
Southern Lofty
Location: BGA — the seeds are stored at the Adelaide Botanic Gardens, MSB — the seeds are stored at the Millennium Seed Bank, Kew, England.
Number of plants: This is the number of plants from which the seeds were collected.
Collection location: The Herbarium of South Australia's region name.
% Viability: Percentage of filled healthy seeds determined by a cut test or x-ray.