Eucalyptus tetrodonta

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Darwin Stringybark
A critical revision of the genus Eucalyptus (1903) (20524008050).jpg
Scientific classification edit
Kingdom: Plantae
Clade: Tracheophytes
Clade: Angiosperms
Clade: Eudicots
Clade: Rosids
Order: Myrtales
Family: Myrtaceae
Genus: Eucalyptus
E. tetrodonta
Binomial name
Eucalyptus tetrodonta

Eucalyptus tetrodonta, commonly known as Darwin stringybark or messmate,[1] is a tree that is native to northern Australia.[2]


The tree typically grows to a height of 9 to 18 metres (30 to 59 ft)[2] although it can reach as high as 25 metres (82 ft) and forms a lignotuber.[1] The grey over reddish brown bark is rough and stringy.[2] The oppositely arranged adult leaves have a lanceolate shaped blade and are 9 to 28 centimetres (4 to 11 in) in length and 1 to 4.5 centimetres (0 to 2 in) wide. The leaves are concolorous and a dull blue-green to green colour.[1] It produces inflorescences between June and September with cream-white flowers.[2] Each single axillary inflorescence contains three buds to each umbel. The obovoid to pyriform shaped mature buds are 0.8 to 1.7 cm (0.31 to 0.67 in) in length and 0.6 to 1.2 cm (0.24 to 0.47 in) wide with whitish or cream coloured flowers. The woody cylindrical shaped fruit have a length of 1.2 to 2 cm (0.47 to 0.79 in) and a width of 0.9 to 1.7 cm (0.35 to 0.67 in) with a vertically descending disc and three or four valves at rim level. The smooth grey coloured seeds within have a flattened ovoid shape and are 2 to 4 mm (0.079 to 0.157 in) long.[1]


The species was first formally described by the botanist Ferdinand von Mueller in 1859 as part of the work Monograph of the Eucalypti of tropical Australia as published in Journal of the Proceedings of the Linnean Society, Botany.[3] The specific epithet is derived from the Greek tetra- meaning "four"[1] and odous, odontos meaning "a tooth" in reference to the four teeth found around the rim of the fruit.[4] The closest relative of this tree is Eucalyptus megasepala.[1]


It is found on flats and plateaus in the Kimberley region of Western Australia region where it grows on flat areas and plateuas in sandy soils over laterite, sandstone or quartzite.[2] The range extends eastward across the top end of the Northern Territory and parts of the Gulf of Carpentaria and Cape York regions in North Queensland. It is usually a part of open forest or woodland communities.[1]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b c d e f g "Eucalyptus tetrodonta". Euclid. CSIRO. Retrieved 8 November 2018.
  2. ^ a b c d e "Eucalyptus tetrodonta". FloraBase. Western Australian Government Department of Parks and Wildlife.
  3. ^ "Eucalyptus tetrodonta F.Muell". Atlas of Living Australia. Global Biodiversity Information Facility. Retrieved 8 November 2018.
  4. ^ Francis Aubie Sharr (2019). Western Australian Plant Names and their Meanings. Kardinya, Western Australia: Four Gables Press. p. 323. ISBN 9780958034180.