Eucalyptus argyphea L.A.S. Johnson & K.D. Hill, Telopea
4: 603 (1992).
T: Western Australia: 12km W of Harrismith on road to Wickepin (32°55'S,
8 Nov. 1983, K.D.Hill 659, L.A.S.Johnson, D.F.Blaxell, M.I.H.Brooker
& S.D.Hopper; holo: NSW; iso: CANB, PERTH.
Mallet to 15 m tall. Lignotuber absent.
Bark smooth throughout, mottled silvery grey and pale pink-grey.
Branchlets lacking oil glands
in the pith.
Juvenile growth (coppice or field seedlings to 50 cm): not
Adult leaves alternate, petioles 1-2.5 cm long; blade lanceolate
or sometimes falcate, (6)7-13 cm long, 0.8-2(2.2) cm wide, base tapering
to petiole, margin entire, apex acute, concolorous, glossy, dark green,
side veins acute, reticulation dense, intramarginal vein very close
to margin, oil glands intersectional, numerous, irregular.
Inflorescences axillary unbranched, pendulous, peduncles 1-2.5
cm long; buds 7 or 9, pedicellate, elongated-ovoid with shallow longitudinal
ribs on hypanthium only, scar present, operculum narrowly conical
and sometimes slightly narrower than hypanthium at the join, stamens
all inflexed or mostly inflexed with a few irregularly flexed, anthers
cuboid, versatile, dorsifixed, dehiscing by longitudinal slits, style
long and straight, stigma blunt to rounded, locules 3(4), the placentae
each with 4 vertical rows of ovules; flowers creamy white.
Fruit down-turned, pedicellate, flattened-globose, smooth or
scarcely ribbed, 0.7-1 cm wide (including any ribs), disc descending
vertically, valves 3(4), prominently exserted and fragile.
Seed brown to grey-brown, 1-2.5 mm long, ovoid or flattened-ovoid,
dorsal surface very shallowly reticulate and often with two longitudinal
furrows, hilum ventral.
Cultivated seedling (measured at ca node 10): cotyledons Y-shaped
(bisected); stems squared in cross-section; leaves always at least
shortly petiolate, linear to narrowly elliptical or narrowly lanceolate
until ca node 10 then becoming broadly elliptical to ovate by node
15, still opposite at nodes 10 to 15 (or sometimes becoming alternate
for one or two nodes then reverting to opposite), 1-3 cm long, 0.2-2
cm wide, green, dull.
Eucalyptus argyphea (Greek, argypheos, silvery
white, referring to the bark).
A mallet endemic to Western Australia, found in the southern wheatbelt
with the main distribution from east of Wickepin to east of Lake King
and south towards Jerramungup. The bark is smooth, grey to silvery
and adult leaves glossy green.
Eucalyptus argyphea belongs in Eucalyptus subgenus Symphyomyrtus
section Bisectae subsection Destitutae because buds
have two opercula, cotyledons are Y-shaped and branchlets lack oil
glands in the pith. Within this sub-subsection E. argyphea belongs
to a group of eight species and two subspecies characterized by usually
pendulous inflorescences with pedicellate ovoid buds with a conical
to beaked operculum, flattened-globose fruits with exserted fragile
valves and adult leaves that are green, densely reticulate and have
numerous intersectional oil glands. The species are E. argyphea,
E. recta , E. falcata , E. ornata , E. petrensis ,
E. goniantha (with two subspecies), E. kessellii and
E. balanopelex , which together form sub-series
Eucalyptus argyphea, E. ornata and E. recta
are mallets. They differ only in the size and degree of ribbing of
the buds and fruits. E. ornata from around Kondinin in the
southern wheatbelt is heavily ribbed, whilst E. recta , found
only near Cadoux in the central wheatbelt, has scarcely ribbed buds
slightly larger than the other two species and smooth fruit. The shallowly
ribbed buds and almost smooth fruit of E. argyphea are of similar
size to those of E. ornata . E. falcata , widespread
in wheatbelt and sub-coastal areas, differs in being a mallee. The
remaining species in sub-series Rugatae are coastal mallees.