Plants of
South Australia
Eucalyptus ovata ssp. ovata
Swamp Gum
Display all 17 images
Regional Species Conservation Assessments per IBRA subregion.
Least concern
Near threatened
Critically endangered
Data deficient
Coober Pedy
Mount Gambier
Enlarge Map
Copy Map
Copy Map
Display IBRA region text

Botanical art

Kath Alcock paintings: 3

Prior names

Eucalyptus ovata var. ovata

Eucalyptus gunnii var. ovata, nom.illeg.

Eucalyptus paludosa

Eucalyptus stuartiana, partly

Eucalyptus gunnii, partly

Eucalyptus acervula

Eucalyptus ovata, partly


Eucalyptus from the Greek 'eu' meaning well and 'calyptos' meaning covered; alluding to the cap or lid which covers the stamens in the bud. Ovata from the Latin 'ovatus' meaning ovate; referring to the shape of the leaves.

Distribution and status

Found on the south-western part of Kangaroo Island, southern Mount Lofty Ranges and the lower South-east in South Australia, growing on poorly drained sites subject to seasonal water logging such as creeks, swamps and floodplains. Also found in New South Wales, Victoria and Tasmania. Native. Rare in South Australia. Common in the other states.
Herbarium regions: Southern Lofty, Kangaroo Island, South Eastern, Green Adelaide
NRM regions: Adelaide and Mount Lofty Ranges, Kangaroo Island, South East
AVH map: SA distribution map (external link)

Plant description

Single to several stem tree to 2 m tall with rough grey-brown bark on the lower trunk and smooth tan to cream above, sometime shedding in ribbins. Juvenile leaves opposite initial then becoming disjunct, ovate to elliptical, dull, green. Adult leaves ovate to lanceolate, to 130 mm long and 45 mm wide, glossy, green, without or with few oil glands. Inflorescence axillary clusters with 7 white flowers. Bud diamond-shaped to 9 mm long and 6 mm wide, bud-cap conical with a beak and equal in lenght to the base. This subspecies differ from the other subspecies found in South Australia, Eucalyptus ovata ssp. grandiflora which has buds to 15 mm long and 9 mm wide, fruit to 10 mm long and 13 mm wide and leaves with prominent oil glands. Flowering in June to September. Fruits are woody conical fruit to 8 mm long and 8 mm wide, disc and valves around rim level. 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.

Seeds stored:
LocationNo. of seeds
(weight grams)
of plants
Collection number
Collection location
% ViabilityStorage
BGA14,400 (6.34 g)1528-Apr-2004DJD6
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.