Eucalyptus apiculata R. T.Baker & H.G.Smith, Research Eucalypts
T: Berrima, N.S.W., 10 May 1899, J.J.Fletcher s.n.; syn: K,
NSW; Mittagong, N.S.W., 29 July 1901, J.J.Hook 108; syn: K.
E. laophila L.A.S.Johnson & Blaxell, Telopea 4: 256
(1991). T: N.S.W., Central Tablelands, Wolgan Gap, 12 April 1953,
L.A.S.Johnson s.n.; holo: NSW 27182.
Slender mallee to 6 m tall. Forming a lignotuber.
Bark smooth, cream, grey, brown or green.
Juvenile growth (coppice or field seedlings to 50 cm):
stem rounded or slightly square in cross-section, scabrid on lower
internodes; juvenile leaves opposite, sessile and amplexicaul for
3 or 4 nodes, then alternate, petiolate, narrowly lanceolate to linear,
to 16 cm long, 0.8-2 cm wide, base tapering, glossy, dark green.
Adult leaves alternate, petiole 0.3-1 cm long; blade narrowly
falcate to lanceolate to linear, 3.5-11 cm long, 0.3-0.7 cm wide,
base tapering evenly to petiole, margin entire, concolorous, glossy,
green, venation very acute or side veins obscure, sparsely reticulate,
intramarginal vein well removed from margin, oil glands island.
Inflorescences axillary unbranched, peduncles 0.5-1 cm long;
buds 7, pedicellate, clavate, warty, scar absent, operculum conical
and apiculate, stamens irregularly flexed, anthers reniform to cordate,
versatile, dorsifixed, dehiscing by confluent slits, style long, locules
3 or 4, the placentae each with 2 vertical ovule rows; flowers white.
Fruit pedicellate, cup-shaped, urceolate, or barrel-shaped,
0.6-1 cm wide, disc descending, valves 3 or 4, enclosed.
Seed pale to mid brown, 1-1.8 mm long, pyramidal or obliquely
pyramidal, dorsal surface smooth, hilum terminal.
Cultivated seedlings (measured at ca node 10): cotyledons reniform;
stems rounded to squared in cross-section, densely warty (feel scabrid);
leaves sessile, opposite, discolorous, elliptic and held horizontally
for lowest ca 4 or 5 nodes, then becoming petiolate, alternate, narrowly
lanceolate, 6.5-16 cm long, 0.8-2.2 m wide, base tapering, concolorous,
Eucalyptus apiculata (Latin apiculatus, apiculate, ending
abruptly in a point, refers to the leaves).
A green-leaved mallee ash endemic to New South Wales, of the Central
Tablelands on sandstone-derived soils from east of Rylstone south
E. apiculata has linear leaves which distinguish it from E.
stricta which has narrowly-lanceolate leaves and clearly from
E. burgessiana which has lanceolate leaves. The green-leaved
mallee ashes grade into each other in leaf dimensions and each of
the three recognised here, E. apiculata (leaves to 0.7 cm wide),
E. stricta (leaves to 1.6 cm wide) and E. burgessiana
(leaves to 2.5 cm wide), have synonyms that reflect this
gradient but are scarcely applicable taxonomically.
Eucalyptus apiculata belongs in
Eucalyptus subgenus Eucalyptus section Eucalyptus
series Strictae, because of a combination of characters: mallee
habit with smooth bark, alternate, green juvenile leaves, adult leaves
held erect and with acute side-veins and little or no visible reticulation,
single axillary inflorescences, the buds in clusters of 7s, with buds
having only one operculum and reniform anthers, ovules in 2 rows,
and ± pyramidal seeds. Within series Strictae, E.
apiculata is one of six closely related species all with leaf
oil glands that are irregular in outline (subseries Irregulares);
the others being E. dendromorpha (a partly rough-barked tree
with clavate buds in 7s); E. triflora (a small ± smooth-barked
tree with oblong buds in 3s or 7s); E. stricta and E. burgessiana
which differ as described above; and
E. langleyi which has angular branchlets
and adult leaves to 5 cm wide.