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Species profile—Eucalyptus decolor (Myrtaceae)


Plantae (plants) → Equisetopsida (land plants) → MyrtaceaeEucalyptus decolor

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Species details

Plantae (plants)
Equisetopsida (land plants)
Eucalyptus decolor
Alternate name
discolorous-leaved ironbark
Taxonomy Author
A.R.Bean & Brooker
Nature Conservation Act (NCA) status
Near threatened
Back on Track (BoT) status
Eucalyptus decolor is a small to medium-sized tree to 25 m tall with dark grey, furrowed ironbark on the trunk and largest branches; small and medium sized branches smooth, white or pink to rich coppery. Cotyledons reniform, to 4 mm by 7 mm. Seedling leaves petiolate, opposite for 3 or 4 pairs, narrow-lanceolate, to 9.2 cm by 1.8 cm, green, discolorous, tips obtuse, with a short point. Juvenile leaves alternating, petiolate, narrow-lanceolate, to 11.5 cm by 1.8 cm, discolorous, dark green above, much paler below. Adult leaves alternate, petiolate, lanceolate, to 12 cm by 1.8 cm, strongly discolorous, dark green above, much paler below, not glossy; side veins terminating at an intramarginal vein which is removed from the leaf edge by a single line of areoles; reticulation dense; oil glands few, obscure, discrete within the areoles or apparently associated with veinlets. Inflorescences apparently terminal, compound. Peduncles angular, to 11 mm long, surmounted by 7 buds. Pedicels angular, narrower than the hypanthium at the join. Stamens white, inflexed, outer filaments sterile. Fruits pedicellate, ovoid to hemispherical, to 6 mm x 6 mm, staminophore broad, prominent. Disc obscure, valves 4, rarely 5, enclosed, slightly below or at rim level (Bean and Brooker, 1989).
Eucalyptus decolor is closest to E. paniculata, it differs by the darker grey bark on the trunk, smooth outer branches, smaller leaves, narrower seedling leaves and smaller fruits. Both species are unusual in possessing strongly discolorous adult leaves. E. decolor is also similar to E. melanoleuca but differs in having larger seedling leaves and discolorous adult leaves (Bean and Brooker, 1989). The strongly discolorous adult leaves distinguish E. decolor from all other ironbarks indigenous in Queensland (Bean and Brooker, 1989).
Eucalyptus decolor is restricted to Queensland. It is distributed as far north as Castle Tower National Park (north west of Miriam Vale) to south to the ranges south of Biggenden (Mount Walsh National Park). The species occurs within Castle Tower National Park; Many Peaks Range; Eurimbula National Park; Gongiberoo Range; and Mt Walsh National Park, near Biggenden (Bean and Brooker, 1989; Queensland Herbarium, 2012).
Eucalyptus decolor grows in open forest or open tall woodland on ridges, crest or steep slopes on grey loams or shallow soils derived from granite or sandstone from 160 to 550 m asl. Associated species include: Corymbia citriodora, C. trachyphloia subsp. trachyphloia, Eucalyptus major, E. moluccana, E. acmenoides, E. montivaga, E. exserta, Allocasuarina littoralis, Lophostemon confertus, Leptospermum neglectum, Pomaderris argyrophylla, Arundinella nepalensis and Eremochloa bimaculata, and at the highest altitudes, E. montivaga (Bean and Brooker, 1989; Wang, 1999; Queensland Herbarium, 2012).
Flowering period December - March. (Brooker and Kleinig, 1994). Flowers have been collected in October and February. (Bean and Brooker, 1989)
Threatening processes
Potential threatening processes include; destruction of habitat by timber harvesting destruction of habitat by clearing and inappropriate fire regimes (Wang, 1999).
Management recommendations
Management objectives for the protection of Eucalyptus decolor and its habitat include: no timber harvesting of E. decolor; establishment of a protective buffer (0.3 ha) that excludes clearing where E. decolor occurs; no annual or uncontrolled burning on E. decolor sites; and prescribed burns on sites where E. decolor occurs to be at a frequency and intensity which minimises damage to seedlings and saplings (Wang, 1999).
Bean, A.R. and Brooker, M.I.H. (1989). Two New Species of Eucalyptus (Myrtaceae) from Central Queensland. Austrobaileya 3 (1): 39-44.
Bostock, P.D. and Holland, A.E. (eds) (2010). Census of the Queensland Flora 2010. Queensland Herbarium, Department of Environment and Resource Management, Brisbane.
Brooker, M.I.H. and Kleinig, D.A. (1994). Field Guide to Eucalypts. Volume 3, Northern Australia.
Queensland Herbarium (2012). Specimen label information, in BriMapper version 3.5.3. Queensland Herbarium. Accessed 11/01/2012.
Wang, J. (1999). Eucalyptus decolor 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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