Plants of
South Australia
Eucalyptus socialis ssp. victoriensis
Great Victoria Desert Red Mallee,
Victoria Desert Beaked Red 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: 5

Prior names

Eucalyptus socialis ssp. South Great Victoria Desert (D.Nicolle 2667)

Eucalyptus sp. aff. socialis (southern GVD)

Eucalyptus transcontinentalis, partly

Eucalyptus eucentrica, partly

Eucalyptus socialis, partly

Common names

Great Victoria Desert Red Mallee

Victoria Desert Beaked Red 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. Socialis from the Latin 'socialis ' meaning friendly, alluding to the species being associated with other eucalyptus species. Victoriensis refers to the distribution of this subspecies in the Great Victorian Desert.

Distribution and status

Found in the western part of South Australia from the western edge of the Gawler Ranges to the border, growing in open mallee vegetation on sand plains and swales between sand dunes on calcareous red sand. Also found in Western Australia. Native. Common in South Australia. Common in Western Australia.
Herbarium regions: North Western, Lake Eyre, Nullarbor, Gairdner-Torrens, Eyre Peninsula
NRM regions: Alinytjara Wilurara, Eyre Peninsula, South Australian Arid Lands
AVH map: SA distribution map (external link)

Plant description

Multi-trunked mallee to 8 m high with rough, flaky-fibrous, pale grey to brown bark on lower stems and smooth, tan to pinkish-grey to cream bark above. Young branchlets sometimes waxy. Juvenile leaves ovate to lanceolate; sometimes waxy, dull blue-green. Adult leaves to 152 mm long and 35 mm wide, lanceolate, dull, very slightly blue-green. Flowers in groups of 7-11 in leaf axils. Buds to 19 mm long and 6.5 mm wide, sometimes waxy, bud-cap horn-shaped, equal in width and longer than the base. Flower pale, creamy-yellow. This subspecies is distinguished from the other three subspecies that occur in South Australia by its distribution, large, dull adult leaves, large buds and fruits and cream to pale yellow flowers. Fruits are round to barrel-shaped to urn-shaped fruit to 11 mm long and 9.5 mm wide, sometimes waxy when young; disc descending, valves 3-5 below rim. Seeds are brown ovoid seed, with fine reticulated 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 90%. Seeds are non-dormant, viable seed should germinate readily.

Seeds stored:
LocationNo. of seeds
(weight grams)
of plants
Collection number
Collection location
% ViabilityStorage
BGA12,000 (8.35 g)1222-Sep-2014DJD3035
North Western
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.