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Species profile—Eucalyptus curtisii (Myrtaceae)


Plantae (plants) → Equisetopsida (land plants) → MyrtaceaeEucalyptus curtisii (Plunkett mallee)

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Species details

Plantae (plants)
Equisetopsida (land plants)
Eucalyptus curtisii (Plunkett mallee)
Alternate name
Brisbane mallee
Taxonomy Author
Blakely & C.T.White
Nature Conservation Act (NCA) status
Near threatened
Back on Track (BoT) status
Eucalyptus curtisii a slender to stout-stemmed mallee or small tree growing up to 7 m tall. The bark is smooth throughout, grey-green to white in colour. The leaves are lanceolate. The juvenile leaves are lighter underneath, measure up to 10 by 15 cm and are arranged in opposite pairs along the branch. The adult leaves are lanceolate, strongly discolorous being dark green above and distinctly lighter underneath, measure up to 13 by 2.7 cm and arranged alternately to subopposite. The venation on the adult leaves is visible and the intramarginal vein is distinct, often remote from the margin. The petioles are 0.7-1.5 cm long. The inflorescences are in terminal or upper axillary racemes or small panicles of 3-7 whitish umbels. Peduncles are 0.5-1.5 cm long, pedicels are 3-6 mm long. Buds are obovoid to pyriform, 5-8 mm long, sometimes with rudimentary teeth. The operculum is hemispherical to broadly conical, shorter than the hypanthium. Fruits are cup-shaped 1 by 0.8 cm, and often wrinkled or ribbed when dry, and usually have five or six internal chambers, Seeds are yellow brown and linear with a terminal scar (Ross, 1986; Brooker and Kleinig, 1994; Chippendale, 1988).
The elongate yellow-brown seeds and mallee habit are diagnostic for Eucalyptus curtisii. Other features which distinguish the species include the smooth and usually grey-green bark, discolorous lanceolate leaves, 3-7 flowered umbels in a terminal panicle, and hemispherical to campanulate fruits (Ross, 1986).
Eucalyptus curtisii has a rather wide but very scattered distribution in south-eastern Queensland, extending 80 km north and south of Brisbane, and inland over 300 km north west to the Dalby and Miles district. The species is currently recorded in Expedition National Park, Robinson Gorge National Park, Isla Gorge National Park, Balloon Forest Reserve, Barakula State Forest, Vickery State Forest, Kumbarilla State Forest, Beerwah Forest Reserve, Bringalily State Forest, Neville Lawrie Reserve (Logan City) and White Rock Conservation Park (Brooker and Kleinig 1994; Wang and Borsboom, 1996; Queensland Herbarium, 2012)
Eucalyptus curtisii has two growth forms that occur in different habitats. The shorter mallee form is more likely to occur as the only eucalypt species on poorly drained lowland sites in shrubland dominated by banksia, with an understorey of heath plants, and sometimes E. conglomerata may also be present. The larger growth form occurs as scattered individuals on better drained soils in the more open areas of mixed eucalypt forests. Commonly associated species include Corymbia citriodora subsp. variegata, C. trachyphloia and Callitris endlicheri, less commonly associated with E. fibrosa, E. planchoniana and E. acmenoides. E. curtisii occurs on sandy podsoils with impeded drainage, shallow stony soils, clay loams and stony clays with a surface layer of loose stones (Hall and Broker, 1974; Brooker and Kleinig, 1994; Wang, 1996; Queensland Herbarium, 2012).
Flowering of Eucalyptus curtisii has been recorded between the months of September and November, and fruiting throughout the year (Queensland Herbarium, 2012).
Threatening processes
Current threatening processes to Eucalyptus curtisii include destruction of habitat due to clearing. Possible threatening processes include disturbance of habitat for timber harvesting, inappropriate fire regimes and grazing regimes (Wang and Borsboom, 1996).
Management recommendations
Management objectives for the protection of Eucalyptus curtisii and its habitat include: no timber harvesting of E. curtisii; establishment of a protective buffer (0.3 ha) that excludes clearing where E. curtisii occurs; the interval between prescribed burns should be greater than three years; monitor the impact of grazing and adjust grazing management to ameliorate adverse impacts (Wang and Borsboom, 1996).
Brooker, M.I.H. and Kleinig, D.A. (1994). Field Guide to Eucalypts. Volume 3, Northern Australia.
Chippendale, G.M. in George, A.S. (Ed) (1988). Flora of Australia 19: 121.
Queensland Herbarium (2012). Specimen label information, in BriMapper version 3.5.3. Queensland Herbarium. Accessed 16/01/2012.
Ross, E.M. in Stanley, T.D. and Ross, E.M. (1986). Flora of South-eastern Queensland 2: 163-165.
Wang, J., and Borsboom, A. (1996). Eucalyptus curtisii Species Management Profile. Department of Natural Resources, Brisbane.
Profile author
Lynise Wearne
Profile date
Other resources
Atlas of Living Australia

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Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International (CC BY 4.0)
Last updated
20 October 2014
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