Plants of
South Australia
Eucalyptus leucoxylon ssp. pruinosa
Myrtaceae
Small-fruit Blue Gum
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Adelaide
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Botanical art

Kath Alcock paintings: 17.

Etymology

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. Pruinosa from the Latin 'pruinosus' meaning pruinose or coated in whitish wax; referring to the waxy white juvenile leaves, buds, fruits and branch-lets.

Distribution and status

Found in two areas in South Australia, the southern Flinders Ranges to the northern Mount Lofty Ranges and in the South-east, growing on deep loamy soils or on stony hills. Also found in New South Wales and Victoria. Native. Common in South Australia. Rare in New South Wales. Common in Victoria.
Herbarium regions: Flinders Ranges, Eyre Peninsula, Northern Lofty, Murray, Southern Lofty, South Eastern
NRM regions: Adelaide and Mount Lofty Ranges, Northern and Yorke, 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 loose bark on the lower trunk. Juvenile leaves cordate to ovate, pruinose, bluish. Adult leaves to 200 mm long and 25 mm wide, lanceolate, dull to slightly glossy, blue-green. Inflorescence axillary in groups of 3 on individual stalks. Buds to 10 mm long and 8 mm wide, globular, pruinose, bud-cap conical, equal to or slightly shorter than the base. Flowers cream to rarely pink appearing in winter and spring. This subspecies is distinguished from the other four subspecies that occurs in South Australia by having distinctive waxy juvenile leaves and some adult features, short peduncles and pedicels and small-sized, near-round to cup-shaped fruits. Fruits are near-round to cup-shaped fruits to 10 mm long and 14 mm wide, pruinose when young, disc descending, valves 5 or 6 below the rim. Seeds are dark grey-brown seed. 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. Seeds are non-dormant, viable seed should germinate readily.