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Eucalyptus magnificata

Blue Box

Family: Myrtaceae

Eucalyptus magnificata is known as the Blue Box and is a tree that will reach a height of 15 metres.

The bark is pale grey, fibrous and flaky. The leaves are oval and five to ten centimetres long by four to six centimetres wide. They are bluish-green in colour. The foliage of Blue Box is an attractive feature. The buds are club-shaped and usually appear in groups of seven. Flowers are white to cream, 1.5 centimetres across and are both conspicuous and profuse during the flowering period in November and December. Blooms are followed by distinctive club-shaped gum nuts.

Eucalyptus magnificata was split from E. baueriana in the early 1990’s. The latter species is found in coastal southern New South Wales and Northern Victoria. Eucalyptus magnificata is listed as threatened with extinction, categorised as endangered, and is found in three small populations; two east of Armidale, NSW and one in southern Queensland.

In the garden

The Blue Box could be grown as a specimen tree in larger suburban gardens or as a component of shelterbelts and windbreaks on rural properties. It grows to 15 metres tall but could be pruned into a mallee habit. It has very attractive foliage and can flower well. Would add to attracting in fauna and invetebrates into any garden. 

It is a threatened species and so may be hard to source. Check with local native nurseries. It grows on sandy to loam soils in the wild. Can likely tolerate frost and dry conditions once established. 

Propagation

Propagate from seed.

Other information

The leaves are used for dyeing wool and yield a red colour.

This species can regenerate from the lignotuber after fire. It may also regenerate from the seedbank. 

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).

magnificata – Latin meaning “magnified” referring to the leaves being generally larger than other closely related species. 

This species is listed as being threatened with extinction in the wild at the State level with the category of endangered. 

NSW Flora Online (PlantNET) – Eucalyptus magnificata profile page        https://plantnet.rbgsyd.nsw.gov.au/cgi-bin/NSWfl.pl?page=nswfl&lvl=sp&name=Eucalyptus~magnificata

EUCLID – Eucalypts of Australia – Centre for Australian National Biodiversity Research https://apps.lucidcentral.org/euclid/text/entities/eucalyptus_magnificata.htm

NSW Office of Environment and Heritage – Threatened Species Profile – Eucalyptus magnificata https://www.environment.nsw.gov.au/threatenedspeciesapp/profile.aspx?id=10299

 

By Warren and Gloria Sheather