Silvery growth in the Gippsland swamp box

show e.conspicua, Gippsland swamp boc, Edward Hunter Heritage Bush Reserve

Eucalyptus conspicua, Gippsland swamp box

Gippsland swamp box

The Gippsland swamp box (eucalyptus conspicua) is a tree of seasonal freshwater swamps in eastern Gippsland and in the Latrobe Valley it can inhabit small rises and hillsides in poor soil. In the Edward Hunter Heritage Bush Reserve, it can be found in the western portion between Dwyer Street and Baringa Special School.

Flowering (white) over summer and into autumn, the juvenile leaves of this eucalypt are strikingly silver against the grey-green of the adult ones and these silvery leaves are retained in the crown of the tree.

Leaves and buds

The juvenile leaves are sessile (lacking a stem), opposite, rounded and are up to 14.5cm X 4.5cm in size. The adult leaves, in contrast, have leaf stems (described as petiolate), alternate along the branchlets, are broadly lanceolate and grey-green in colour with a dull surface. The buds are diamond shaped, to 0.7 X 0.8cm, silvery coloured (glaucous) with a rounded operculum, and occur in groups of seven.

shows silvery buds of eucalyptus conspicua, Gippsland swamp box, Edward Hunter Heritage Bush Reserve

Silvery (glaucous), diamond shaped buds of e.conspicua, groups of seven

Shows adult leaves, grey-green, and white flowers, of eucalyptus conspicua, Edward Hunter Heritage Bush Reserve

Grey-green adult leaves and white flowers, e.conspicua

Shows adult leaves, grey-green, of eucalyptus conspicua, Edward Hunter Heritage Bush Reserve

Adult leaves of eucalyptus conspicua (Gippsland swamp box), densely veined

Fruit

The fruit is waxy when young, with very short stems (peduncles), is cup-like with valves to the rim or standing up above it (exerted).

shows cup shaped fruits and waxy red branchlets, eucalyptus conspicua, Gippsland swamp box, Edward Hunter Heritage Bush Reserve

Cup shaped fruit and waxy red branchlets, e.conspicua

shows buds of eucalyptus conspicua, Gippsland swamp box, Edward Hunter Heritage Bush Reserve

Cup shaped fruit of e.conspicua, valves just exerted

Shows fruit of e.conspicua, just after flowering, Edward Hunter Heritage Bush Reserve

Fruit of e.conspicua, just after flowering

Bark

One of the Reserve’s rough-barked species, the tree has bark that is thick, longitudinally furrowed, and reddish brown to grey-brown and persistent on trunk and branches.

Shows Rough, longitudinally furrowed, stringy, grey-brown bark of eucalyptus conspicua, Edward Hunter Heritage Bush Reserve

Rough, longitudinally furrowed, stringy grey-brown bark of e.conspicua, Gippsland swamp box

References

Brooker, M.I.H. & Kleinig, D.A. (1999) Field guide to eucalypts Volume 1 south- eastern Australia, Bloomings Books: Hawthorn

Nicolle, D. (2006) Eucalypts of Victoria and Tasmania, Bloomings Books: Melbourne

 

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