Eucalyptus longifolia

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Woollybutt
Eucalyptus longifolia Batemans Bay.jpg
Batemans Bay, Australia
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Plantae
(unranked): Angiosperms
(unranked): Eudicots
(unranked): Rosids
Order: Myrtales
Family: Myrtaceae
Genus: Eucalyptus
Species: E. longifolia
Binomial name
Eucalyptus longifolia
Link

Eucalyptus longifolia, known by the common name woollybutt, is a tree of the myrtle family myrtaceae native to eastern Australia. It has thick, fibrous bark usually colored light gray and white, and long narrow grey-green leaves. The drooping flowerheads in groups of three are a distinguishing feature. It grows in heavy soils often near water.

Taxonomy[edit]

The woollybutt was described by German naturalist Johann Heinrich Friedrich Link in 1822.[1] The specific epithet is the Latin words longus "long" and folium "leaf". Within the genus Eucalyptus, it belongs in the subgenus Symphyomyrtus.[2] The term woollybutt relates to the bark.[3]

Description[edit]

Eucalyptus longifolia grows as a tall tree to 35 m (100 ft) high, with a trunk diameter attaining 1 m (3 ft).[3] The long narrow leaves are lanceolate (spear-shaped) and measure 10–25 cm (4–10 in) long and 1.5–2.6 cm (0.6–1 in) wide. They are a uniform grey-green or blue-green in colour. The white flowerheads are arranged in groups of three,[4] and droop.

Distribution and habitat[edit]

The range is from Morisett in central New South Wales south to the Victorian border.[4] In the north of its range it is more scattered in its distribution, but becomes more common south of Nowra to Bega.[3] It generally grows on clay soils and floodplains, sometimes in areas with poor drainage,[5] in valleys and low areas.[3] In open sclerophyll forest, it grows alongside such trees as white mahogany (E. acmenoides), grey box (E. moluccana), forest red gum (E. tereticornis), and rough-barked apple (Angophora floribunda), while in swampy areas it is found with swamp mahogany (E. robusta) and paperbark species such as snow-in-summer (Melaleuca linariifolia), prickly paperbark (M. styphelioides) and swamp paperbark (M. ericifolia).[5]

Ecology[edit]

The woollybutt regenerates by regrowing from epicormic buds after bushfire. Trees live for over a hundred years. The Grey-headed Flying Fox (Pteropus poliocephalus) and Little Red Flying Fox (P. scapulatus) eat the flowers.[5] The longhorn beetle species Paroplites australis has been recorded from the woollybutt.[6]

Uses[edit]

The dark red timber is hard and resistant to water,[2] and termites.[5] It has been used in railway sleepers and other general construction.[3] The woollybutt is also important in beekeeping and the honey industry.[2] It is useful as a shade tree or windbreak in paddocks, but grows too large for the average garden.[2]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Eucalyptus longifolia". Australian Plant Name Index (APNI), IBIS database. Centre for Plant Biodiversity Research, Australian Government. 
  2. ^ a b c d Elliot, Rodger W.; Jones, David L. (1986). "Eu-Go". In Elliot,Eliot, Rodger W. & Jones, David L. Encyclopaedia of Australian Plants suitable for cultivation 4. Lothian Publishing. p. 134. ISBN 0-85091-213-X. 
  3. ^ a b c d e Boland, Douglas J.; Brooker, M. I. H.; Chippendale, G. M.; McDonald, Maurice William (2006). Forest trees of Australia. Collingwood, Victoria: CSIRO Publishing. p. 97. ISBN 0-643-06969-0. 
  4. ^ a b New South Wales Flora Online: Eucalyptus longifolia by Hill, Ken, Royal Botanic Gardens & Domain Trust, Sydney, Australia.
  5. ^ a b c d Benson, Doug; McDougall, Lyn (1998). "Ecology of Sydney plant species:Part 6 Dicotyledon family Myrtaceae". Cunninghamia 5 (4): 809–987. 
  6. ^ Hawkeswood, Trevor J. (1992). "Review of the biology, host plants and immature stages of the Australian Cerambycidae (Coleoptera). Part 1, Parandrinae and Prioninae". Giornale Italiano Di Entomologia 6: 207–24.