Eucalyptus stellulata

Black Sallee / Black Sally

Family: Myrtaceae

A medium tree, growing to a height of 15 m (and forms a lignotuber).

It is confined to the tablelands of NSW, extending into Qld and Vic. It grows
near Tenterfield in New South Wales and southwards along the Great Dividing Range to the eastern highlands of Victoria.

It is a common plant in grassy eucalyptus woodland, often near swamps and by streams, growing on relatively good fertility.

Bark is rough, shortly fibrous greyish on the lower trunk with smooth olive-green bark that is somewhat oily above.

Juvenile foliage / coppicing regrowth is sessile, elliptical leaves, arranged in opposite pairs, to 100 mm long and to 50 mm wide.

Adult leaves are arranged alternately, the same glossy green on both sides, lance-shaped to elliptical, to 110 mm long and to 35 mm wide, tapering to a petiole to 15 mm long. The leaf veins are almost parallel and very conspicuous.

The flower buds are arranged in leaf axils in a star-like cluster (umbellaster) of between nine and fifteen, the individual buds sessile.

Mature buds are spindle-shaped to 6 mm long and about 2 mm wide with a pointed, conical operculum / calyptra.

Flowering occurs between February and May and the flowers are white.

The capsule is cup-shaped or shortened-spherical, to 5 mm long and wide with the valves near rim level. Seeds are brown or reddish brown, 1.5 to 2 mm long.

In the garden

It is not commonly grown in cultivation, but it is available from several nurseries and is sold overseas as well.

It is found in cold-climate areas on good quality soils near creeks and so it would lend itself to those sorts of environments. However, it could be trialled in other areas. It is not an overly large tree and so could be trialled in an open landscape or garden. May also make a nice street tree. May need good water to thrive and likely an enriched soil like alluvium, clay or basalt.

Eucalypts can suffer problems from, caterpillars, leaf eating beetles, psyllids and borers to name a few. In undisturbed conditions, the numbers of eucalypt-feeding insects and their predators and parasites are in balance, so that they rarely cause tree death and most trees quickly recover from attack. In a home situation nature can get out of balance.


Eucalypts can be propagated by seeds which is most common method or grafting.
Cuttings are difficult to start, but can be used in some species.

Other information

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

The Australian Oxford Dictionary gives the origin of “sally” and “sallee” as British dialect variants of “sallow”, meaning “a willow tree, especially one of a low-growing or shrubby kind”.

This species regenerates after fire through the lignotuber and epicormic shoots. It can 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).

stellulata – is derived Latin meaning “little star” and refers to the appearance of the clustered flower buds (umbellasters).

This species is not considered to be at risk of extinction in the wild. 

Field Guide to Eucalypts Vol 1 South Eastern Australia. M.I.H.Brooker and D.A.Kleinig. Blooming Books.

EUCLID – Eucalypts of Australia – Centre for Australian National Biodiversity Research                      Eucalyptus stellulata profile page          https://apps.lucidcentral.org/euclid/text/entities/eucalyptus_stellulata.htm

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

By Jeff Howes