Common Name: Red Ironbark, Mugga Ironbark, Mugga.
Etymology: Eucalyptus: Named in 1788 by French botanist Charles Louis L’héritier de Brutelle from Greek eu ‘well’ and kalyptos ‘covered’ referring to the covering on the bud. sideroxylon: from the Greek words Sideros ‘iron’ and Xylon ‘wood’.
Origin: Northern Victoria, NSW and Southern Queensland, Australia.
Description: Tree to 35m tall with trunk up to 1m diameter.
Foliage: Alternate, lanceolate with a prominent midrib and faint veins, 6-14cm long 10-30mm wide, dull green or greyish green.
Bark/Trunk: Dark grey to brown or black, hard, thick, rough and deeply furrowed, impregnated with red kino.
Flowers: Cream, white or pink, 15-20mm across, comprising of many stamen spreading from a central disc and covered by a pointed conical cap in bud. They are grouped in axillary clusters of 3-9 flowers. Flowering in winter.
Fruit: Ovoid to pear-shaped woody capsules, 5-11mm long and 5-9mm across with 4-5 enclosed valves. Seeds stay in capsules until at least the following winter and are very viable, requiring no pre-treatment to germinate.
Growth Requirements: Prefers open sunny position. Is not overly fussy with soil types so will do well in both clay and sandy soils but should be free draining. This tree is drought, frost tolerant and able to be cultivated well outside of natural range.
Uses: Specimen tree, Australian native gardens, street tree, parks, bee attracting (it is one of the major honey producing species of NSW). Other uses (due to it heavy, durable and rot resistant timber) include: construction, railway sleepers, fence posts, piers, furniture and as firewood and charcoal. Interestingly, due to it heaviness it has a timber that will not float.
Propagation: Will usually propagate fairly easily from seed in about 5 days at 20 degrees Celsius. As with all Eucalypt’s it will not propagate from cutting (apparently it is not impossible but rather difficult to do so).
Sources of Information:
- Australian Trees by Leonard.
- Own Photography.