Plants of
South Australia
Eucalyptus yalatensis
Yalata Mallee
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Botanical art

Kath Alcock painting: 1.


Eucalyptus from the Greek 'eu' meaning well and 'calyptos' meaning covered, alluding to the cap or lid which covers the stamens in the bud. Yalatensis named after the Yalata Community land on the Nullarbor Plain of South Australia, near where the type specimen was collected.

Distribution and status

Found on the Nullarbor, western Eyre Peninsula, a single record on Yorke Peninsula and the Cooke Plains in South East of South Australia growing in tall dense mallee to low open mallee vegetation on calcareous shallow sands to sandy loams over limestone. Also found in Western Australia. Native. Common in South Australia. Common in Western Australia.
Herbarium regions: Nullarbor, Eyre Peninsula, Murray, Yorke Peninsula
NRM regions: Alinytjara Wilurara, Eyre Peninsula, Northern and Yorke, South Australian Murray-Darling Basin
AVH map: SA distribution map (external link)

Plant description

Multi-stemmed often dense-crowned mallee to 7 m tall with rough, fibrous, pale to dark grey bark on lower stems and smooth, yellow-brown to grey to creamy bark above. Juvenile leaves ovate to broad-lanceolate, dull blue-green. Adult leaves to 113 mm long and 25 mm wide, lanceolate, dull blue-green to greyish. Flowers axillary in groups of 7-11. Buds to 8 mm long and 4 mm wide, bud-cap cone-shaped to horn-shaped, equal to or longer than the base. Flowers creamy-white appearing in summer. Fruits are cone-shaped fruit to 6 mm long and 6.5 mm wide; disc level to descending with 3 or 4 valves below the rim. Seeds are brown ovoid seed to 1.7 mm long and 1 mm wide, with 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 100%. Seeds are non-dormant, viable seed should germinate readily.

Seeds stored:
LocationNo. of seeds
(weight grams)
of plants
Collection number
Collection location
% ViabilityStorage
11,000 (4.97 g)
11,000 (4.97 g)
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.