8. VII. Eucalyptus coriacea, A. Cunn.

1.  Description  133 
Notes supplementary to the description  133 
2.  Synonyms  135 
Notes on the Synonyms  135 
3.  Range  138 
4.  Affinities  141 

  ― 133 ―


Eucalyptus coriacea, A. Cunn.

FOLLOWING is the original description:—

Schauer MSS.—Ramulis elongatis pendulis teretib. nitidis; foll. firmis rigidisq. lanceolatis oblongisve breviter petiolatis acuminatis, apiculo subfiliformi saepe deflexo, nervosis imperforatis viridib., untrinq. lucidis; capitulis axillarib. 5–8—floris; pedunculo petiolum aequante subtereti; cupula (fructus) turbinata truncata; operculo …,? capsula 3–4 loculari. Planta insignis valida; foliis 4–6 poll. longis, 1–2 poll. latis; fructib. 4 lin. altit. totidemq. diametro metientibus nitidis. In Novae Cambriæ australis interioris planitiebus.—A. Cunn. Herb., no. 35–1824.—(Schauer in Walp. Rep. ii, 925.)

It is fully described by Bentham (B.Fl. iii, 201), and also by Mueller, in the Eucalyptographia; by the latter under the name E. pauciflora, Sieb. I have adopted the name given in the Flora Australiensis. Sieber's name, E. pauciflora, has doubtful priority, and it is especially inappropriate (no Eucalypt flowering more freely than this), while Cunningham's name is remarkably appropriate.

Vernacular Names.—One of the “White or Cabbage Gums,” but not to be confused with E. hæmastoma, var. micrantha, which goes by the same names. Its usual name with us is “White Gum,” though it is very frequently called “Cabbage Gum” also. In New England apparently not known as “White or Cabbage Gum,” but “White Ash,” in contradistinction to E. stellulata (Black Ash). The species goes under the name of “Weeping Gum” in Tasmania, owing to its scrambling habit; the name is also in use at Uralla, N.S.W. At Glen Innes it is locally known as “Tumble-down Gum,” also by reason of its aspect. “Glassy Gum” is a name in use at Guyra, on account of the vitreous appearance of the bark. “White Sally” is a name in use at Queanbeyan. On the Monaro I have known it to be called “Bigleaf,” for obvious reasons. Sometimes it is called “Cattle Gum,” because cattle feed on its leaves when grass is scarce. The names “Flooded Gum” and “Peppermint,” under which this species is known in Victoria (B.Fl.) would not appear to be in use in this State, and may, perhaps, have arisen through a misapprehension.

Suckers or Seedling Leaves.—Broader than the mature leaves; more or less ovate. Near Yarrowitch (New England) I noticed the leaves of some seedlings which were 2 or 3 feet high. The foliage was very coarse, being both large and thick. Following are actual measurements of individual leaves:—7½ × 3½ inches, 8½ × 3¼ inches, 6¼ × 3½ inches. Large leaves such as these were not scarce. They are a little oblique, acuminate, nearly ovate, occasionally nearly circular, and then pass through all gradations up to ovate lanceolate.—(Proc. Aust. Ass. for Adv. of Science, vii, 538.)

  ― 134 ―

Mature Leaves.—Coriaceous, yet often succulent, and hence eaten by stock. They are comparatively large, 6 inches being a common length, while 5 inches is, perhaps, under the average. The width is usually about 1½ inch. They are usually shiny, but in the coldest districts often glaucous. The venation is as stated under stellulata, and in this respect not only shows affinity with that species, but also with regnans and allied species. Besides cattle, opossums have a predilection for the young foliage of this tree, so that they often kill trees of this species.

Mr. F. B. Guthrie (Agric. Gazette, Oct., 1899) has analysed the leaves, with the view to ascertain their value for feeding stock, and following is his analysis:—

Water.  Ash.  Fibre.  Ether Extract (Oil, &c.).  Albumenoids.  Carbohydrates.  Nutrient Value.  Albumenoid ratio.  Tannin (Oak Bark). 
“Cattle Gum” …  36·76  2·90  8·57  6·02  8·75  37·00  59  1:5¾  1·5 

As regards the oil obtained from the leaves, I have three authenticated analyses before me. No. 1 is from Messrs. Baker and Smith's “Research on the Eucalypts,” and Nos. 2 and 3 are by W. B. Wilkinson.note

Sp. gravity at 15° C.  Sp. rotation, [a] D   Saponification number.  Solubility in Alcohol.  Constituents found. 
1. 0·8947  -32·8  4·62  1 vol. 80%  Phellandrene, peppermint ketone, eucalyptol, sesquiterpene. 
2. ·8943  +16·7  ………  ………  No phellandrene. 
3. ·9200  +6·0  ………  ………  Do. 

Mr. Wilkinson also gives columns “Refractive index” and “Specific refractive energy.”

It is remarkable how these analyses vary. My view is that we require hundreds of analyses of the oils of each species, taken under circumstances as different as possible, before we shall be able to make accurate generalisations in regard to them. These should be made in all the States, just as the material for botanical diagnosis is obtained over areas as wide as possible.

Timber.—Pale coloured, full of gum-veins; warps a good deal. Some notes on the timber will be found under “Range.”

  ― 135 ―


  • 1. E. pauciflora, Sieb.
  • 2. E. piperita, Sm.; var. pauciflora, DC.
  • 3. E. submultiplinervis, Miq.;

Do forma minor, Miq.

  • 4. E. sylvicultrix, F.v.M.
  • 5. E. phlebophylla, F.v.M.

There is a variety, alpina, Benth.—(B.Fl. iii, 201).

Notes on the Synonyms.

1. E. pauciflora, Sieb. The original description is—

pauciflora, Sieb. 26. E. operculo conico, pedunculis abbreviatis sub—6 floris, foliis oblongolanceolatis falcatis nervosa-venosis elongatis.—(Spreng. Syst. IV. Cur. Post., 195.)

A specimen of the type in Herb. Barbey-Boissier bears the following label:—

Sieber's No. 470. Eucalyptus pauciflora, Sbr. De la nouvelle Hollande, M. Sieber, 1825, with the addition later on, “Eucalyptus piperita, Sm.; E. pauciflora, DC.”

It is figured on Plate 26, and there can be no doubt that it is correctly referred to E. coriacea, A. Cunn. I have seen a further specimen, stated to be Sieber's No. 475, and labelled Eucalyptus pauciflora, Sieber, from Herb. Berol. It consists of a leaf and a cluster of buds. The leaf is narrow, and has rather straight veins, which one reasonably associates with E. coriacea, A. Cunn. But the buds do not belong to that species, and careful examination of the specimens shows that they probably belong to one of the New South Wales “Messmates.”

E. amygdalina and E. regnans are so closely allied that it is not possible to say absolutely from the material available which species it is, since it matches E. radiata from the Blue Mountains, which we know Sieber visited, and E. regnans from southern and western localities. The texture of the leaf is amygdalina, or regnans, and not coriacea. Nothing further need be said, as there is apparently a misplacement of a label.

  ― 136 ―

2. E. piperita, Sm.; var. pauciflora.

This is the name as given in DC. Prod. iii, 219,

3. E. submultiplinervis, Miq.

34. Eucalyptus submultiplinervis, Miq., n. sp., ramulis gracilibus teretiusculus vel hic illic angulatis, foliis e basi attenuatâ lanceolatis breviter acutis, herbaceo-coriaceis, venis plerisque adscendentibus versus basin adproximatis utrinque distinctis submultiplinervis, marginibus subincrassatis subfuscescentibus, pedunculis rugosis 5–10 floris, floribus subsessilibus, calycis tubo obpyramidato-turbinato striato-sulcato glanduloso, operculo brevi-hemisphaerico subumbilicato quam tubus breviore, antheris albidis didymis. Van Diemansland (Stuart n. 10, 13, 14, 15)—Petioli circiter semipollicares antice canaliculati, angulosi. Pedunculi 3–4 lin. longi. Flores 2½ lin. æquantes. Forma præsertim quod a flores minor: E. sylvicultrix, Müll. Herb.—(Nederl. Kruidk. Arch., iv, 138, 1856.)

4. E. sylvicultrix, F.v.M., is briefly referred to in the preceding paragraph.

Bentham also noticed it:—

E. submultiplinervis, Miq. in Ned. Kruidk. Arch., iv, 138, or E. sylvicultrix, F. Muell. in Herb. Sond., is a narrow straight-leaved variety, with the flowers of the ordinary size.—(B.Fl. iii, 201.)

Following are the specimens on which the names submultiplinervis and sylvicultrix were founded:—

  • (a) Specn. No. 34 (species number in Ned. Kruidk. Arch. iv). “Eucalyptus sylvicultrix, Ferd. Mueller, Tasmania, in Mueller's handwriting, and E. submultiplinervis, forma minor,” in that of Miquel, have buds, and are undoubtedly coriacea as so marked by Bentham on the specimen. I fail to see that Miquel's forma minor is really smaller than other specimens.
  • (b) “E. sylvicultrix, F.v.M. Syn. E. coriacea, A. Cunn., var. sylvicultrix, F.v.M. (Herb. Melb.). Syn. E. multiplinervis, Miq. (Herb. Melb.) (a slip of the pen for submultiplinervis). No. 765, near Woodhall, Tasmania, March. Charles Stuart.”

The material of (b) is in twigs bearing leaves, very young buds, and flowers. The specimens, as far as they go, in the venation of the leaves and their hooked apices, their length and breadth, in the very young buds, in the calyces and flowers, resemble many from New South Wales.

5. E. phlebophylla, F.v.M.

40. Eucalyptus phlebophylla, Ferd. Müll., Herb. ramulis teretibus fuscescentibus, foliis longiuscule petiolatis lanceolatis vel oblongo-lanceolatis in apiculum tenuem fuscum curvulum exeuntibus, basi attenuatâ inæquilateris, vulgo totis falcato-curvatis, rigide coriaceis, punctatis, venis plurimis e basi ortis submultiplinervis, umbellis axillaribus et terminalibus confertis, 3–5 floris, pedunculis pruinosis, floribus sessilibus, calyce obovato-turbinato. Crescit in montibus Buffalo Range (F. Müller). Van Diemansland (Stuart).

Petioli ½–¾poll. longi rugosuli, in siccis pallidi vel fusculi; folia 3–7 poll. longa, 1½ lata; pedunculi 2–3 lin.; calycis tubus in fructu 2 lin. æquans.—(Ex. Miq. in Nederl. Kruidk. Arch. iv, 140, 1856.)

  ― 137 ―

I have seen the type from Mount Aberdeen, which is a very markedly veined, large, young leaf; also specimens marked “Gippsland, Mueller,” in flower.—(Herb. Calcutta.) I have examined a specimen (Van Dieman's Land, C. Stuart) bearing, in Miquel's handwriting, the words “E. phlebophylla, M.,” with the words “E. submultiplinervis affinis” cancelled.—(Herb. Melb.)

Some of Gunn's specimens in European herbaria labelled “Eucalyptus radiata,” with glaucous buds, really belong to E. coriacea. Some of them are labelled “very common about Hobart Town,” and “Weeping Gum of Norfolk Plains.” The true E. radiata, Sieb., is much less likely to be confused with E. coriacea, A. Cunn., than the forms (E. radiata, Hook., f. non Sieb.) that Hooker took to be E. radiata.

Var. alpina, F.v.M. (B.Fl. iii, 201).

Leaves short and nearly straight. Flowers rather smaller and peduncles shorter.

Mountains on Macalister River, Vic. (B.Fl.). Specimens of this variety from Mount Kosciusko, in our own State, are very glaucous. Leaves 2 inches long, or a little more.

Following is an account of the Mount Kosciusko trees:—The Snow Gum is a small-leaved form of E. coriacea, resembling E. stellulata a good deal in leaf outline, and might be mistaken for it. At low elevations it is a large tree; as the mountain is ascended it becomes smaller and smaller, till at length it becomes a dense whipstick scrub, and finally (at 6,000 feet, about) disappears altogether. It forms the limit of tree vegetation. It is usually as glaucous as if it had been sprinkled with flour, but not invariably so, and at the Jindabyne level it is frequently scarcely glaucous.note

“Forming the ‘Tree line.’—The trees of this species at the highest elevations are remarkable for their bare stems, surmounted with a dome or flattish top of leaves. The bare stems are, doubtless, the consequence of winds, the leaves being concentrated on the top as a thin ‘layer,’ and offering minimum resistance to the wind. These dwarf trees are in masses of a fairly uniform height; a different arrangement would result in the crown of leaves of the smaller plants being beaten against the bare stems of their taller brethren, and denuded of their foliage. The grotesque leaning forms of the stems, like guys or supports to resist wind-pressure, are shown in one of the illustrations. In many cases the butt of the tree forms a huge protuberance at the ground level, taking on a peculiar plastic appearance often seen in the coast districts in E. maculata (Spotted Gum) and Angophora lanceolata (Smooth-barked Apple). In E. coriacea, from this protuberance there spring out as many as four (and even more) stems of equal diameter, such stems being equidistant from each other, or nearly so.”note

  ― 138 ―


THIS tree is confined to Tasmania, South Australia, Victoria, and New South Wales. In Tasmania it is common, except the extreme south and south-west (Rodway). I have examined the following classical Tasmanian specimens:—

  • (a) Gunn's No. 684, 1,105 (Plenty Bridge); 1,107 (Glen Leith); 1,108 (Glen Leith, also road foot of Grass-tree Hill); 1,109 (Marlborough); 1,111, “Weeping Gum,” Formosa. These are typical E. coriacea and are E. piperita, var. pauciflora, DC., Prod. iii, 213, as pointed out by Hooker in Fl. Tas. i, 136.
  • (b) Col. Paterson ex. Herb. Lambert in Herb. Cant.


As regards Victoria, Mueller gives the south, north-east, and east. Speaking of Gippsland, Howitt says:—

This Eucalypt is extremely constant in character, whether found in small isolated colonies in the littoral tracts, as at Providence Ponds and Morwell, or forming forests over large areas in the Gippsland Alps up to an elevation of 5,000 feet, as on the Wonnongatta Plains, at Omeo, Woolgulmerang and Delegate. It appears to be essentially an alpine species, yet able to maintain itself, to some extent, in localities but little elevated above sea-level.

Following are some Victorian localities represented in the National Herbarium, Sydney:—

Mount Hotham, Victorian Alps (J.H.M., var. alpina). Buffalo Mountains (Mr. West, comm., C. Walter), “Cabbage Gum,” Caledonia River; Upper Broken River, Wando Dale, Hotspur (A. W. Howitt). Hills near Mansfield, Strathbogie (H. B. Williamson); Camel's Hump, Mount Macedon (C. Walter).


J. E. Brown figures it in his Forest Flora under the name “The South-eastern White Gum:”—

In this State the species is as yet only known to exist in the south-eastern district, and there merely in patches within a short distance of the sea-coast. The localities are—Dismal Swamp (Rev. J. E. Tenison-Woods) and Benara Estate (Beale).

The late Professor Tate records it from the volcanic area of the south-east corner of the Province, or the Mount Gambier district. Both in Victoria and South Australia it is recorded from the coast, a habitat I believe to be quite unknown in New South Wales.

  ― 139 ―


It occurs usually at fairly high elevations, preferring undulating grassy country in the ranges and high table-lands, from south to north of the State. As already indicated, it ascends to the greatest elevation of any tree in the State. It consequently forms the limit of arboreal vegetation—the “tree-line”—which, on Mount Kosciusko, is about 6,500 feet. Following are some southern localities:— Mount Kosciusko has already been dealt with in referring to var. alpina. In the Delegate district the bark is scribbled like E. hœmastoma, and the young leaves are sometimes larger and thinner than those of the type. This scribbling of the bark is observed in other localities also. Again, in the same district we have a small fruited form, the fruits being hardly larger than those of E. stellulata. Leaves thinner and dull looking. It may be that these trees show the effects of hybridisation.

Then again, in the Cooma district (Cooma-Braidwood Road), we have leaves straight, or nearly so, about 4½ inches long, seldom falcate, fruit more nearly sessile; sometimes glaucous, and apparently connecting with variety alpina. The bark is smooth, grey, and striped, and marked with scribbles.

“Cattle Gum,” because eaten by stock. Gungahleen Estate (Gungarlin is an older spelling), Goldsbrough, Mort, & Co., Sydney. Yarrangobilly Caves, and Adaminaby to Cooma (E. Betche). Tumut (J. H. Maiden and J. L. Boorman); top of Dividing Range, Nimbo River, Cooma district (H. Deane). This is a small-leaved form, showing transit to variety alpina. Jingera Mountains, Michelago (W. Baeuerlen); “White Sally,” Queanbeyan (H. Deane); Rob Roy (H. Deane).

On the Monaro, where it is known as “White Gum,” “Cabbage Gum,” “Big Leaf,” it is looked upon as the best firewood and best to stand in the ground for wire fences. There is not much timber in the Monaro of good quality; at the same time testimony to its value is not universal.

I have specimens from the top of Mount Tabletop, Kiandra district (E. Betche). The fruits are of unusual form, being nearly hemispherical and compressed, after the fashion of E. capitellata, Sm. A tendency for fruits to take on a similar character is shown in specimens from other elevated localities in southern New South Wales.

In the Braidwood district of New South Wales this tree goes by the name of “Cabbage Gum,” on account of the softness of its timber; and reports from that district are consistent in stating, “Very durable underground, though of no use above it.” It there attains a diameter of 5 feet and a height of 80 feet, extending from the lowest level up to the highest elevation (5,000 feet). Jembaicumbene, Araluen to Braidwood (J.H.M.); Gidley, Bungendore (W. Forster Rutledge); No. 370, S. H. Mossman, from Twofold Bay, herb. Cant. ex herb. Lemann (probably from near Tarago). Barber's Creek (H. J. Rumsey); “Snappy Gum,” Paddy's River and Wingello,—“used for posts and rails in the district” (J. L. Boorman).

  ― 140 ―

At Berrima (on the banks of the Wingecarribee, opposite the Rectory) is a Ribbony Gum, with rough black bark up to the first fork. The rough bark is much like that of E. viminalis. The habit of the tree is more erect as to foliage than that of the normal coriacea close by. The timber is white and full of gum veins, like coriacea. The fruits are more hemispherical than the rest of the trees in the neighbourhood. The species is, however, very close to E. coriacea; and in all my travels I have not previously seen an E. coriacea a real Ribbony Gum as this is. E. coriacea is a species that does not present much evidence of variation as a rule, and I am inclined to think that this particular tree may present evidence of hybridisation, perhaps with E. amygdalina. It may be conspecific with Mr. Baker's E. vitrea.

Following are some western localities:—“Snappy Gum,” Jenolan Caves.— Bark smooth and mottled; there are two or three tints of slate colour with white streaks (W. F. Blakely). “Cabbage Gum,” Capertee.—Large trees plentiful all through the low lands of the district. Tendency to be pipy. Ribbony at base and clean for the most part throughout. Timber soft, useless (J. L. Boorman.) Tarana.—A large white shining gum tree, considered in the locality a great lasting timber in the ground (A. Murphy). “Large-leaved White Gum,” Sidmouth Valley. —Cattle and horses are fond of the leaves (W. Woolls). Sidmouth Valley was formerly called Lowe's Swamp, and is described in Wells' Gazetteer, 1848, as “a broad and very difficult morass, in the county of Westmoreland, 102 miles from Sydney.” The Sidmouth Valley Creek, a small southern tributary of the Fish River, runs through it. Millthorpe.—“White Gum,” thin bark, stands well in ground (R. H. Cambage). Top of Canoblas, about 4,500 feet above sea-level (R. H. Cambage); this is var. alpina. Canoblas, near Orange (Elliott Bros., Sydney).—Transit between the normal and alpine form. Kerr's Creek, near Orange.—“Cabbage or White Gum,” found in broken, sour, pipe-clay country. Timber soft, inferior, does not stand the ground well; used for rails (Forest Ranger Martin). Peak Hill (J. M. Curran).

As regards the north, it is found all over New England, as far north as Tenterfield. I expect it will be recorded from elevated localities between Orange and New England. In New England we find about Walcha (J. F. Campbell and J.H.M.) the ordinary and the alpine form. It is called “Weeping Gum” at Salisbury, Uralla (H. Deane), and “Glassy Gum,” Guyra (H. Deane). It has not been recorded from Queensland, but I should not be surprised if it were to be found in the ranges about Stanthorpe.

  ― 141 ―


1. E. stellulata, Sieb.

As already indicated, the closest relations of E. coriacea are with E. stellulata, of which, in some respects, it strongly resembles a coarse form.

2. E. coccifera, Hook. f.

It seems to me that the alpine forms of E. coccifera are very close to the Tasmanian E. coccifera, Hook. f., and this word of caution may be useful to the student.

3. E. vitrea, R. T. Baker, or E. vitellina, Naudin.

In a specimen from the Blue Mountains in Herb. F. Muell. the leaves are long and almost linear lanceolate, but very thick with the longitudinal veins of E. coriacea, of which it has also the flowers. —(B.Fl. iii, 201.)

In the above passage Bentham is doubtless speaking of specimens very similar to those I have from Jenolan Caves (W. F. Blakely). They are nearest to Mr. R. T. Baker's E. vitrea, though not typical. E. vitrea is, in my opinion, a hybrid between E. coriacea and E. amygdalina.

I will go into the matter at some length when dealing with E. amygdalina. Suffice it to say, at this place, that the tree referred to in the Flora Australiensis could not be confused, in the field, with E. coriacea; the former being a rough-barked tree and the latter a specially smooth gum.