37. XXXVI. Eucalyptus siderophloia, Bentham.

Description  324 
Notes supplementary to the description  324 
Varieties  324 
Synonyms  325 
Note on E. persicifolia, DC.  325 
Range  326 
Affinities  328 

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XXXVI. Eucalyptus siderophloia, Benth.

(B.Fl. iii, 220.) Re-described by Mueller in the “Eucalyptographia,” with a plate.

Notes supplementary to the description.

A “coarse” species—that is to say, having coarse foliage, coarse fruits (as compared with the other Ironbarks, paniculata and crebra), and coarsely furrowed bark. Altogether a very sturdy tree, reminding one, in this respect, of the British Oak.

The buds are often, when young, of the “egg in egg-cup” shape—that is to say, the operculum is of noticeably less diameter than the calyx. The fruits have exsert valves, which is usually quite sufficient to distinguish this from other Ironbarks.

The “She Ironbark” (Woolls) given as a name for this species in the “Flora Australiensis” arose from a mixture of specimens of E. paniculata with those of E. siderophloia from Parramatta.

There is a Brachyscelid gall common on the leaves and branchlets of this species, which Mr. W. W. Froggatt tells me is Opisthoscelis Maskelli, Froggatt. It has been found at Homebush, Newcastle, Maitland, Stroud to Gloucester, &c. I have never found it on any other species of Eucalyptus, and it, therefore, has some diagnostic value, in the present state of our knowledge.


(1.) Var. (?) rostrata, Benth. Operculum ¼ to ½ in. long; capsule valves more prominent—Port Jackson, “Ironbark” R. Brown, Caley; “Greater Ironbark,” Backhouse; “Large-leaved Ironbark,” Woolls (B.Fl. iii, 220).

I find E. siderophloia on the whole very uniform in character. It is a rostrate budded species, with a certain amount of variation in the length of the operculum, it is true, and which Bentham allows.

I have Woolls' specimens labelled by him var. rostrata, and they are the ordinary form. All Port Jackson specimens are rostrate-budded. It is rostrate-budded to Central Queensland. I agree with Bentham in his doubt as to the value of the name var. rostrata, and go further and say that it is a name whose use can only result in confusion.

[Specimens which most literally conform to Bentham's original description of E. siderophloia are some mixed ones of E. paniculata and E. siderophloia collected by Woolls at Parramatta.

The description also applies more or less well to the Paddy's Hill, Woy Woy, Taree to Wollamba, and Port Macquarie specimens referred to under “Range.” These are, however, exceptional, and I follow Mueller (see figure of E. siderophloia in the “Eucalyptographia”) in looking upon E. siderophloia as having a rather long operculum, and the fruit as having well exserted valves. There is no room for a variety rostrata.]

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(2.) Var. glauca, Deane and Maiden. Proc. Linn. Soc. N.S.W., xxiv, 461 (1899).

Following is the original description:—

This is the glaucous interior form of the species, which goes under the names of “Blue-leaf Ironbark” (in allusion to its glaucous foliage) and “Broad-leaf Ironbark,” in allusion to its broad sucker-leaves.

Its operculum is shorter than that of the normal species, but the fruit of var. glauca and of the type are precisely similar except as regards glaucousness.note

Dubbo District (H. Deane, Nov., 1892; J. V. de Coque and J. L. Boorman, Nov., 1897). This form (from fragments in our possession) will probably be found to have extended range easterly, and more particularly northerly of the Dubbo District.

“Broad-leaf Ironbark.” Mr. J. V. de Coque recently drew attention to this tree, and pointed out that its timber is inferior to that of the other Ironbarks of the Dubbo District. Its timber is of an inferior quality, both as regards “ringing” and “splitting” (cracking), so much so that the timber-getters never cut it except for rails. Mr. Boorman points out that it grows on slightly elevated lands, and is confined to such situations only. When growing in the forest it can readily be noted by its glaucous appearance.

The “Blue-leaf Ironbark” is not really different from the preceding, although local people point out differences in breadth and glaucousness of leaves.

It bears a strong superficial resemblance to a specimen in the National Herbarium, Melbourne (in bud only), collected by Charles Stuart in “New England, 1,000–1,500 feet.” (New England is never as low as this, so that, if the heights be correct, it must have been collected during an ascent.) His label further states: “30–40 feet, bark very rugose and deeply furrowed, flowers light yellow; Mountain Ironbark, No. 128.” It bears a label in Mueller's handwriting “E. leucoxylon,” and is probably the var. pallens of Bentham (B.Fl. iii, 210). Ample botanical material is desirable of these aberrant forms; at the same time it is not suggested for a moment that there are not two glaucous species,note the stamens and stigma of E. siderophloia and E. leucoxylon (really sideroxylon) being very different.

In addition to the localities above enumerated, I have it from—

“On the sides of hills and out of the crevices of rock, all over the district, not perhaps plentiful, but widely scattered over the hills.” A stunted tree, Gungal, near Merriwa (J. L. Boorman).


  • 1.E. fibrosa, F.v.M.
  • 2. E. ornata, Sieb.

Note on E. persicifolia, DC.

1. E. fibrosa, F. Muell. in Journ. Linn. Soc. iii, 87, from the Brisbane, is only known from specimens in young bud, in which state I am unable to distinguish them from the var. rostrata of E. siderophloia. F. Mueller, however, designates it as a Stringybark. It may, therefore, prove to be distinct. (B.Fl. iii, 220.)

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In the “Eucalyptographia” Mueller says the bark of E. fibrosa “now proves far less fibrous than that of the real Stringybark trees,” and he consents to its being considered a synonym of E. siderophloia.

I have dealt with the matter at p. 34, Part I of this work. I had overlooked Mueller's remark (made after he had reinvestigated the bark), and am now of opinion that E. fibrosa, F.v.M., is a synonym of E. siderophloia, Benth. The name was, however, most unfortunate, as the bark of E. siderophloia is never fibrous.

2. E. ornata, Sieb., Pl. Exs. Quoted by Bentham in B.Fl. iii, 208 (I cannot find the original description).

A specimen from Herb. Oldfield in Herb. Kew, labelled “Eucalyptus resinifera, Large-leaved Ironbark, Parramatta, New South Wales, W. Woolls,” was examined by Bentham for the “Flora Australiensis,” and is the E. siderophloia, Benth., var. (?) rostrata, of B.Fl. iii, 220. (It bears the provisional pencil name, in Bentham's handwriting, of “ornata, var.”)

The original specimens were gathered by Woolls, at Cabramatta, near Parramatta, and are in the Woollsian Herbarium presented by me to the Sydney Herbarium. Cf. p. 33, Part I of this work.

Note on E. persicifolia, DC. “E. persicifolia, DC., Prod. iii, 217, and F. Muell., Fragm. ii, 61 (in part only), not of Lodd.” These are the words of Bentham, quoting synonyms, in describing E. siderophloia. I have gone into the matter in Part I, p. 32, and arrived at the conclusion that E. persicifolia is a synonym of E. pilularis, Sm. I have reinvestigated the matter, and see no reason to alter my opinion.


BENTHAM gives it as Port Jackson to Moreton Bay, while Bailey speaks of it as found in Southern Queensland.

It is, however, found at least as far south as the borders of the Counties of Cumberland and Camden, New South Wales; and since the trees in that locality are of considerable size, I do not doubt that search will show that it occurs at least as far south as the County of Camden.

In Queensland it is found as far north as Rockhampton. In its glaucous form it occurs as far west as the Dubbo District.


We have it in the National Herbarium, Sydney, from a number of localities in the County of Cumberland, south, west, and north of Sydney. It has been almost exterminated from the suburbs of Sydney, partly because it yields a valuable timber and partly because of the natural progress of settlement.

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It is fairly common still at Homebush and Flemington, Bankstown to Cabramatta (the Railway Station); Cabramatta (the Cabramatta of the “Flora Australiensis,” where Woolls collected, and now called Rossmore, since the name has been given to a railway station several miles away); Smithfield.

Specimens of twigs and timber were sent by the late Sir William Macarthur to the Paris Exhibition of 1855 and the London Exhibition of 1862, under the following numbers:—

  • (a) 137 (Paris), 4 (London).
  • (b) 137b (Paris), 5 (London).

They both belong to this species, although some local variation caused Sir William to think they were different.

With reference to the aboriginal name given by Macarthur, it is interesting to note that George Caley, who collected for Sir Joseph Banks in the County of Cumberland, 1800–1810, called it “Derrobarry,” evidently the same word, and I believe that Macarthur's names were obtained quite independently.

Sir William Macarthur furnished the following information:—

  • (a) “Terri-barri” (aboriginal name); “Broad-leaved rough Ironbark” or “Rough-leaved Rough-barked Ironbark” (local names, Counties of Cumberland and Camden). Diameter in inches, 24–48; height in feet, 80–120. From Appin; common in Cumberland. One of the strongest and most durable of timbers. “This tree has been proposed for their emblem by the colonists of New South Wales.
  • (b) “Ironbark.” Diameter in inches, 24–48; height in feet, 80–120. From Appin; distinguishable by its very rough bark in broad deep longitudinal furrows, its very broad leaves, its smooth bark on the young branches, and the different grain of its wood.

Turning to the west it is more or less abundant to the foot of the Blue Mountains—e.g., Rooty Hill, St. Mary's, Penrith, Emu Plains, Richmond.

It extends to the Capertee Valley (J.H.M. and J.L. Boorman) and Murrumbo, Rylstone District (R. T. Baker), with somewhat blunter opercula, and showing transit to the variety glauca found much more to the west.

In the north it is much more abundant, and practically all the supply of this timber comes thence.

Following are some records of northern specimens in the Sydney Herbarium:—

“Red Ironbark.” Height 50 feet, diameter 1 foot. Clarence Town (A. Rudder); Paterson, the commonest Ironbark of the district (J. L. Boorman); Jones' Flat, 12 miles south of Stroud (J.H.M.); Bullahdelah (A. Rudder). “Red Iron-bark,” Lawrence, Clarence River (J. V. de Coque); Myrtle Creek, County of Richmond (W. P. Pope).

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It has been already stated that E. siderophloia is a species very uniform in character, and the following specimens from central coastal New South Wales display as much difference from the normal form as is known to me (variety glauca excepted).

  • (a) Raymond Terrace to Stroud (Red Ironbark).

Some of these trees have fruits with exserted valves, and also fruits strikingly like those of E. paniculata in shape,—valves hardly, if at all, exserted, and the orifice in some cases somewhat contracted. For example, at Paddy's Hill, 14 miles north of Raymond Terrace, we have these paniculata-like fruits, with valves of fruit not exsert (J.H.M.).

Woy Woy.—Similar to preceding (A. Murphy), and with buds probably not so long in the operculum, but they are not ripe in either case.

  • (b) With short operculum with a tendency to a beak, like E. rostrata, but not long like E. tereticornis or E. resinifera. Taree to Wollamba (No. 291, Forest Department) sent as “Narrow-leaved Ironbark.” The leaves of most trees are narrower as the top of the tree is reached. It is not E. paniculata.

Specimens sent as “Red Ironbark,” Port Macquarie, by Forest Ranger G. R. Brown, are similar.


Moreton Bay (James Backhouse, 1836).

Near Brisbane, where it is said to be sometimes known as “Yellow Ironbark” (P. MacMahon).

Taylor's Range (F. M. Bailey). E. resinifera grows in the district, and has buds with long opercula also.

“Red Ironbark,” Rockhampton and North Rockhampton. I see no difference between these and Port Jackson specimens (A. Murphy).


1. With E. pilularis, Sm.

“When the operculum is short, specimens in bud only are much like those of the Blackbutt (E. pilularis) with which they appear to have been confounded, both by De Candolle and F. Mueller, although distinguished by all collectors; when the flowers are open the anthers give a ready character, and the venation of the leaves is somewhat different.” (B.Fl. iii, 220.)

The fruits, bark, and timber of the two species are very different, but specimens in bud, and even young bud (and the early collectors sometimes were only able to obtain such) sometimes show the similarity to which Bentham refers.

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2. With E. cornuta, Labill.

“Stamens almost straight in bud, only slightly flexuose, thus imitating those of the E. cornuta and its allies; hence the anthers not concealed before the expansion of the flower by the inflection of the filaments.”

(Mueller in “Eucalyptographia” under E. siderophloia).

The anthers and other characters of the two species are, however, very different, and the differences in other respects are very marked.

3. With E. hemiphloia, F.v.M., var. albens (E. albens).

“Evidently allied” (Benth.). The affinity is not close, and will be referred to when E. hemiphloia is dealt with.

4 and 5. With E. crebra, F.v.M., and E. paniculata, Sm.

“Evidently allied to E. crebra and the other Ironbarks” (Benth.).

It is most readily distinguished from the other Ironbarks (E. paniculata and E. crebra, being the species with which it is most likely to be confused), by its coarseness of foliage and the flattish, broad ridges of the bark. In E. crebra the inflorescence and fruits are much smaller. In E. paniculata the anthers are very different and the fruits have not the valves exsert, but the latter is a character which must be used with caution. See p. 328.

5. With E. resinifera, Sm.

“The rostrate variety, when in young bud, resembles E. resinifera, and even E. tereticornis, but the venation, and still more the anthers, distinguish it.” (B.Fl. iii, 220).

The species most likely to be confused with E. siderophloia in herbarium specimens is E. resinifera, Sm., the proof being that such confusion actually does take place, the two species being often mixed by botanists, particularly when leaves and buds are alone available. See fig. 27, Plate 47. The two trees cannot be confused in the field, the bark of E. resinifera being fibrous and the timber very different.