Eucalyptus resinifera

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Red mahogany
Eucalyptus resinifera Chatswood West.jpg
Red mahogany at Chatswood West, New South Wales, Australia
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Plantae
(unranked): Angiosperms
(unranked): Eudicots
(unranked): Rosids
Order: Myrtales
Family: Myrtaceae
Genus: Eucalyptus
Species: E. resinifera
Binomial name
Eucalyptus resinifera
Sm.
Eucalyptus resinifera drawing by Margaret Flockton

Eucalyptus resinifera (L. resinifera = "resin bearing"), known as the Red mahogany, is a common eucalyptus tree of eastern Australia. Its range of distribution is from Jervis Bay north to about Gladstone, Queensland in dry sclerophyll or wet sclerophyll forest habitats, preferring soils of a medium to high fertility.[1]

Description[edit]

E. resinifera can grow to 45 metres in height,[2] though more typically it reaches between 20 and 30 metres tall. Its diameter at breast height is up to 150 cm.

Bark and foliage[edit]

E. resinifera bark is reddish brown, persisting to the smaller branches and somewhat stringy.

The adult leaves are lanceolate in shape, 9 to 16 cm long, and 2 to 4 cm wide, with varying shades of green on either side, and marked by dense venation.

Flowers and fruit[edit]

White flowers occur from October to February.

The fruits are gumnuts, which are hemispherical or ovoid in shape, 5 to 11 mm long, 5 to 10 mm in diameter wide[2] and borne on relatively long stems. The disc is flat or raised and the valves are exserted, prominently pointing out of the gumnut. The prominent operculi (and slightly furrowed bark) distinguish Red mahogany from other stringybarks.[3]

Subspecies[edit]

There are two subspecies of Red mahogany; E. resinifera subs. resinifera, which grows north from Jervis Bay to the Mid North Coast of New South Wales; and E. resinifera subs. hemilampra, which grows north from Kempsey.[2][4][5]

A characteristic difference between subspecies can be seen in their operculi (caps) which cover the flower buds: in subspecies hemilampra (Gk. hemi = "half", lampra = "lustrous"; refers to glossy upper leaf surface) they are particularly long - more than three times the length of its hypanthium. The operculi of the more southerly resinifera are smaller. The operculi resemble dunce caps, and some become curved and horn-like.[4][5]

Uses[edit]

The timber of Red mahogany is well regarded for its high quality, being very hard and heavy, and having dark-red heartwood. It has multiple uses including flooring, panelling, cladding, boat building, railroad ties and general construction. It is also a good choice for making poles and charcoal.

E. resinifera has been exported for use as a crop plant on plantations in varying locales in Africa (Madagascar, South Africa and Zimbabwe), Western Europe (Italy and Portugal), and the U.S. (Hawaiian Islands).[6][7][8][9]

Red mahogany has wildlife value as a food tree for koalas.[10][11][12][13]

References[edit]

  1. ^ A Field Guide to Eucalypts Volume 1 Brooker & Kleinig page 135 ISBN 0-909605-62-9
  2. ^ a b c K. Hill. "Eucalyptus resinifera". National Herbarium of New South Wales staff, for New South Wales Flora Online. Royal Botanical Gardens & Domains Trust . Retrieved 27 August 2009. 
  3. ^ Wild Plants of Greater Brisbane, Queensland Museum, 2003, Michelle Ryan (ed.) ISBN 0-9751116-2-0
  4. ^ a b K. Hill. "Eucalyptus resinifera subsp. resinifera". National Herbarium of New South Wales staff, for New South Wales Flora Online. Royal Botanical Gardens & Domains Trust . Retrieved 27 August 2009. 
  5. ^ a b K. Hill. "Eucalyptus resinifera subsp. hemilampra". National Herbarium of New South Wales staff, for New South Wales Flora Online. Royal Botanical Gardens & Domains Trust . Retrieved 27 August 2009. 
  6. ^ Elbert L. Little, jr.; Roger G. Skolmen (1989 (reprinted by University of Hawaii at Manoa, College of Tropical Agriculture and Human Resources, 2003)). "Common Forest Trees of Hawaii (USDA Agriculture Handbook No. 679)". USDA . Retrieved 27 August 2009.  Check date values in: |date= (help)
  7. ^ D. Louppe, A.A. Oteng-Amoako, M. Brink (Eds.) (2008). Timbers 1. PROTA. Retrieved 27 August 2009. 
  8. ^ "Red Mahogany". Timber Development Association . Retrieved 27 August 2009. 
  9. ^ Larouse Pocket Guide Trees of Britain and Europe page 164 ISBN 0-7523-0017-2
  10. ^ "Koala tree foods". Retrieved 27 August 2009. 
  11. ^ "Trees for Koalas". Australian Koala Foundation . Retrieved 27 August 2009. 
  12. ^ Mark Snodgrass (3 July 2009). "Eucalyptus resinifera". Organic Matter . Retrieved 27 August 2009. 
  13. ^ "Koala Plantation Program". Fauna Australia Wildlife Retreat. 23 February 2009. Retrieved 27 August 2009. 

External links[edit]