Plants of
South Australia
Eucalyptus petiolaris
Myrtaceae
Eyre Peninsula Blue Gum
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Adelaide
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Hawker
Innamincka
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Botanical art

Kath Alcock painting: 1.

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. Petiolaris from the Latin 'petiolaris' meaning petiolate, alluding to the petiolate (stalked) juvenile leaves which distinguish the species from E. leucoxylon.

Distribution and status

Endemic to South Australia and found on southern Eyre Peninsula in South Australia growing in open woodland in hilly areas, often along creeks. Native. Uncommon in South Australia. As a distinctive vegetation association, it is considered rare.
Herbarium region: Eyre Peninsula
NRM region: Eyre Peninsula
AVH map: SA distribution map (external link)

Plant description

Single, or several-stemmed tree to 20 m high with smooth, grey to yellow-cream bark throughout, sometimes with rough, loose, pale brown to grey bark at the base. Juvenile leaves ovate, dull, green. Adult leaves to 170 mm long and 25 mm wide; lanceolate, slightly glossy green. Flowers in groups of 3 in the axils of the leaves. Buds to 17 mm long and 10 mm wide; ovoid to diamond-shaped with two longitudinal ribs on the base; bud-cap cone-shaped with a long point, shorter than the base. Flowers cream, yellow, orange, pink or red appearing sporadically throughout the year. Fruits are barrel-shaped to cup-shaped fruit to 22 mm long and 15 mm wide, tapering to the stalk; disc descending with valves 5-7 below the rim. Seeds are red-brown ovoid seed to 2.5 mm long and 2 mm wide with wrinkled 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:
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LocationNo. of seeds
(weight grams)
Number
of plants
Date
collected
Collection number
Collection location
Date
stored
% ViabilityStorage
temperature
BGA 
MSB
6,200 (4.44 g)
6,200 (4.44 g)
2521-Apr-2008TST359
Eyre Peninsula
19-Sep-2008100%-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.