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Eucalyptus apiculata


Narrow-leaved mallee ash

Eucalyptus apiculata R. T.Baker & H.G.Smith, Research Eucalypts 198 (1902).

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, glossy, green.


NOTES

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 to Berrima.

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.