Eucalyptus arachnaea

article - Eucalyptus arachnaea

Eucalyptus arachnaea, commonly known as the black-stemmed mallee,[3] is a mallee or tree that is endemic to Western Australia. It has rough, stringy bark, lance-shaped leaves and white flowers in groups of up to thirteen.

Species of eucalyptus

Black-stemmed mallee
Eucalyptus arachnaea near Walebing
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Plantae
Clade: Tracheophytes
Clade: Angiosperms
Clade: Eudicots
Clade: Rosids
Order: Myrtales
Family: Myrtaceae
Genus: Eucalyptus
Species:
E. arachnaea
Binomial name
Eucalyptus arachnaea

Synonyms[2]

Eucalyptus redunca var. melanophloiaBenth.

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Eucalyptus arachnaea is a mallee that grows to a height of 7.0 m (20 ft) or a tree to 10 m (30 ft). It has rough, stringy, dark grey to greyish black bark. Young plants have more or less triangular to broad, lance-shaped leaves 12 mm (0.5 in) long and 5 mm (0.2 in) wide. Adult leaves are lance-shaped, up to 90 mm (4 in) long and 15 mm (0.6 in) wide. The flowers are white to cream-coloured and are arranged in groups of up to thirteen on a peduncle up to 20 mm (0.8 in) long. The flower buds are spindle shaped, 18 mm (0.7 in) long and 3 mm (0.1 in) wide with a horn shaped operculum. The fruit is a short cylinder shape, up to 7 mm (0.3 in) long and 5 mm (0.2 in) wide. Flowering occurs mainly from April to May.[3][4]

bark
flower buds

The black-stemmed mallee was first formally described in 1867 by George Bentham who gave it the name Eucalyptus redunca var. melanophloia and published the description in Flora Australiensis.[5][6] In 1991, Ian Brooker and Stephen Hopper raised the variety to species status but since the name Eucalyptus melanophloia was already used, it was necessary to create a new specific epithet. They raised the name Eucalyptus arachnaea, the epithet is derived from the Latinarachnaeus meaning “spidery”, referring to the spidery cluster of flower buds.[4]

Brooker and Hopper described two species that have been accepted by the Australian Plant Census:[4]

  • Eucalyptus arachnaea subsp. arachnaea,[7] a mallee growing to a height of about 7 m (23 ft) tall;[8]
  • Eucalyptus arachnaea subsp. arrecta,[9] a tree to 10 m (33 ft) and has glossier leaves.[10]

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