Plants of
South Australia
Eucalyptus leucoxylon ssp. leucoxylon
South Australian Blue Gum
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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: 21

Prior names

Eucalyptus leucoxylon var. rostellata

Eucalyptus leucoxylon var. erythrostema

Eucalyptus leucoxylon var. rugulosa

Eucalyptus leucoxylon var. angulata


Eucalyptus from the Greek 'eu' meaning well and 'calyptos' meaning covered; alluding to the cap or lid which covers the stamens in the bud. Leucoxylon from the Greek 'leucos' meaning white and 'xylon' meaning wood; referring to the pale-coloured wood of the species.

Distribution and status

Found in the southern Flinders ranges, southern Mount Lofty ranges, Kangaroo Island and the South-east in South Australia, growing in woodland and open forest in undulating or hilly terrain on loamy soil. Also found in Victoria. Native. Common in South Australia. Common in Victoria.
Herbarium regions: Flinders Ranges, Eyre Peninsula, Northern Lofty, Murray, Southern Lofty, Kangaroo Island, South Eastern, Green Adelaide
NRM regions: Adelaide and Mount Lofty Ranges, Eyre Peninsula, Kangaroo Island, Northern and Yorke, South Australian Arid Lands, South Australian Murray-Darling Basin, South East
AVH map: SA distribution map (external link)

Plant description

Tree to 30 m tall with mostly smooth yellowish to cream bark throughout, some plate-like loose bark on the lower trunk. Juvenile leaves cordate to broad-lanceolate, dull, green to blue-green. Adult leaves to 185 mm long and 26 mm wide, lanceolate to broad-lanceolate, dull to slightly glossy, green. Flowers axillary in groups of 3 on long individual stalks. Buds to 17 mm long and 7 mm wide, ovoid, bud-cap cone-shaped, equal to or slightly shorter than the base. Flowers cream to pink to red appearing in winter and spring. This subspecies is distinguished from the other four subspecies that occurs in South Australia by having non-waxy juvenile and adult features, long peduncles and pedicels and medium-sized, near-round to barrel-shaped or cylinder-shaped fruits. Fruits are near-round to barrel-shaped or cylinder-shaped fruits to 13 mm long and 12 mm wide, smooth, disc descending, valves 5 or 6 below the rim. Seeds are brown ovoid seed to 1.5 mm long and 1.5 mm wide, with reticulate surface. 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
2,894 (5.2 g)
2,894 (5.2 g)
1-Sep-200490%+5°C, -18°C
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.
Germination table: