Eucalyptus microcorys

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Scientific classification edit
Kingdom: Plantae
Clade: Angiosperms
Clade: Eudicots
Clade: Rosids
Order: Myrtales
Family: Myrtaceae
Genus: Eucalyptus
E. microcorys
Binomial name
Eucalyptus microcorys

Eucalyptus microcorys, tallowwood or tallowood, is a Eucalypt species native to and common in New South Wales and Queensland, Australia. It grows in forests near the coast on moderate to fertile soils in a protected, sunny position.[1] Tallowwood is drought and frost tender.[2]


Tallowwood is a medium to tall evergreen tree growing to 40 metres, and occasionally to 70 m,[3] with rough, stringy or fibrous, red-brown, orange or brown-grey bark throughout.[4]

It has long and narrow adult leaves of lanceolate, ovate or slightly falcate shape, 6 to 15 centimetres (2.4 to 5.9 in) long by 1.5 to 3.5 centimetres (0.59 to 1.38 in) wide, glossy green on the upper surface and dull green beneath, and with prominent, well-spaced side veins having an angle greater than 45° to the leaf mid-rib.[4][1]

Its white to lemon coloured flowers are usually located at the ends of the branchlets in groups of 7 to 11 buds per umbel. The mature buds are small, club-shaped, and 0.3 to 0.6 centimetres (0.12 to 0.24 in) long by 0.2 to 0.3 centimetres (0.079 to 0.118 in) wide.[4][1]

The fruit ("gum-nuts") are obconical (inverted cone) in shape, 0.5 to 0.9 centimetres (0.20 to 0.35 in) long by 0.4 to 0.6 centimetres (0.16 to 0.24 in) wide, with 3 or 4 valves near the level of, or slightly raised above, the open-end rim.[1]

Propagation is by seed.

Its botanical name originates from Greek micro-: small, and corys: cap or helmet, referring to the small shape of the flower bud cap (operculum).[4]
The Tallowwood name is believed to refer to the greasy (tallow) feel of the wood when cut.


Tallowwood log of the size that it is estimated to be required to build an Australian cottage, Dorrigo, NSW
Specimen tallowwood tree, Silverwater NSW

The timber is naturally oily with a high tannin content and is heavily used for decking and, recently, garden furniture. It has a distinct yellowish-brown to olive-green colour. The leaves can be used to dye wool and silk.

It is one of the species whose leaves are used for food by koalas. It flowers most years, something that is unusual amongst the Eucalypts it does not yield nectar or pollen in quantities that are useful for beekeepers.[5]



  1. ^ a b c d K. Hill. "New South Wales Flora Online: Eucalyptus microcorys". Royal Botanic Gardens & Domain Trust, Sydney, Australia.
  2. ^ Bodkin, Frances (comp), Encyclopaedia Botanica, Angus & Robertson, 1986, ISBN 0-207-15064-8
  3. ^ Boland et al. Forest Trees of Australia.
  4. ^ a b c d "Eucalyptus microcorys". Centre for Australian Biodiversity Research. Retrieved 3 March 2018.
  5. ^ Forty years experience as an apiarist plus living on a property where it is one of the major timber species.