Eucalyptus fracta

Broken Back Ironbark

Family: Myrtaceae

A small tree (to 8 metres) or a mallee. It has grey-black ironbark on its trunk and larger branches with smooth whitish bark on smaller branches. Mature trees show the typical ironbark trunks, while the smaller, upper branches are smooth and whitish.

It is endemic to the Hunter Valley in NSW, found primarily along the Broken Back Range near Pokolbin, with scattered populations along the southern escarpment of the valley. It is found growing along the edges of the escarpment. The plants closer to the edge of the cliffs tended to grow more as a mallee, with those further from the edge growing as trees. 

It grows mainly in sandy dry sclerophyll woodland to shrubland.

It is a listed threatened species in the wild.

Juvenile leaves are round and blue green in colour. Adult leaves more spear-shaped to lanceolate, to 11 cm long and 2.5 cm wide, grey-green and glossy.

The flower buds are clustered in umbellasters of 7, which are arranged in secondary groups in leaf axils, which mature to white flowers in spring. 

The capsule is cup-shaped, to 8 mm long and 7 mm wide. 


In the garden

Not yet in cultivation. This is likely due to its listed threatened status. It may be available for cultivation in the future. 


Eucalyptus can be propagated by seeds which is most common method or grafting.

Cuttings are difficult to start, but can be used in some species. For further information refer to: http://anpsa.org.au/APOL2007/sep07-s1.html

Other information

Eucalyptus is one of three similar genera that are commonly referred to as “eucalypts“, the others being Corymbia and Angophora.

Regenerates from lignotuber and epicormic growth after fire.

Eucalyptus from Greek, eu, “well” or “true” and calyptus, referring to the calyptra (καλύπτρo) or operculum, which is a bud cap or covering which covers the developing flowers. The calyptra is a fusion of petals and/or sepals and is shed when the flower opens, leaving a flower with many stamens (staminate) surrounding one female part (carpel).

fracta – Latin meaning ‘broken’ which refers to the separated nature of the populations of the species. It was first named in 1997 by Ken Hill, from a specimen found in Charmhaven with Leonie Stanberg in 1995.

This species is listed as threatened with extinction at the State level with the category of Vulnerable. 


NSW Office of Environment Threatened Species Profile


Wikipedia – Eucalyptus fracta profile page


NSW Flora Online (PlantNET) – Eucalyptus fract profile page


By Mark Abell