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No. 183: Eucalyptus Ochrophloia,



(Family MYRTACEÆ.)

Botanical description.

— Genus, Eucalyptus. (See Part II, p. 33.)

Botanical description.

— Species, E. ochrophloia, F.v.M., in Fragm. XI, 36 (1878).

It may be described in the following words:—

It has clean limbs, but at the base of the trunk it is very rough, scaly, peeling off and very black. (Murphy). A Gum, sometimes with dark red bark on limbs and black on butt, or brownish yellow.

Branches slightly angular, scantily leaved.

Juvenile leaves lanceolate, narrower than the mature foliage.

Mature leaves falcate or oblong-lanceolate, 4 to 6 inches long often between two-thirds and an inch wide, shining green on both sides, irregularly pellucid dotted, with not much spreading veins and anastomosing veinlets, the marginal vein remote from the margin.

Umbels axillary, solitary, or crowded-corymbose.

Pedicels longer than the not-dilated peduncle, gradually merging into the rather long obconical slightly quadrangular calyx-tube.

Flowers. Operculum conical, acute, hardly half as long as the calyx-tube. Outer stamens anantherous; anthers broad, widening to the base, opening in parallel slits; gland on the top; filament at base; variable in size and shape. Stigma hardly thicker than the style.

Fruits clavate-ovate, truncate, about half an inch long, 3- or rarely 4-celled, the mouth of the margin thin, much elongated beyond the valves. (Adapted from original description, with additions.)

Botanical Name.

— Eucalyptus, already explained (see Part II p. 3 1) ochrovliloia, from two Greek words, ochros, pale, and phloia, bark, referring to the pale-coloured bark.

Vernacular Names.

— "Yellow Jacket." This in allusion to the yellow cast of the bark, but the tree is not to be confused with better known "Yellow Jackets" (e.g., E. melliodora).

Aboriginal Names.

— "Napunyah" is the common name, but there are variants of this. It shares this name with E. Thozetiana, and that species also has names variously spelt and pronounced. "Yappunyah" is one of these variants. "Yipunyah." is another spelling I have seen, while Mr. Dalton, of Wanaaring, gave me the unusual spelling of "Kappundya." What the actual meaning of the word is, I do not know.

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— The Editor of the Pastoralists' Review, Sydney, wrote me in November, 1904, concerning this tree, stating that pastoralists had found it of immense value for feeding stock in droughty times, and that Messrs. Christian, of Brindingabba, in the Wanaaring district. had brought the tree under his notice.

Shortly afterwards the following letter appeared in the Stock and Station Journal, of Sydney, under date 9th December, 1904:—

Department of Mines and Agriculture,

Sydney, December 3, 1904.

Sir, — Referring to your letter of the 10th ult., forwarding extract from a letter from Mr. A. E. Christian, of Brindingabba, together with specimens of the plant "Yapunyah," or "Napunyah," for analysis, I am directed to inform you that Mr. F. B. Guthrie, Chemist, of this Department, reports:—

per cent. 
Moisture  7.01 
Ash  .77 
Fibre  9.71 
Albuminoid  7.62 
Carbohydrates  66.19 
Ether Extract (fat or oil)  8.70 
Nutritive value  93.3 
Albuminoid ratio  1 to 11.2 

Remarks The sample as received for analysis was very dry, and, in comparing the analysis with those of other fodders, allowance will have to be made for this fact.

The fibre is very low, and the above leaves should be a very nutritious food. A pamphlet giving analyses of other plants for comparison is enclosed. — Yours, etc.,


Director of Agriculture. A.

Muggridge, Esq.,

Messrs. Pitt, Son, and Badgery, Ltd.,


Mr. W.H. Clarke, then Editor of the Agricultural Gazette of N.S.W., wrote on behalf of Mr. William Christie, sending some twigs from the Maranoa district, Western Queensland.

The leaves and blossoms are reported to be not only a good sheep food in themselves, but good also to use with more astringent scrub. Mr. Christie has fed thousands of sheep, and is now feeding a great many, on this "Napunyah" foliage.

In view of the possibility of sheep-owners in some districts having again to feed their sheep owl scrub, many pastoralists would be interested in a report as to the identity of "Napunyah."

Eucalyptus leaves must always be looked upon as famine food; at the same time, western sheep have of ten to put up with fare that their more favoured relations in the central and eastern divisions would turn up their noses at.

Reference to Eucalyptus Leaves for Fodder will be found in the Gazette for June, 1899, p. 496, and for August, 1903, p. 765.

There is no doubt that Napunyah leaves did good service at a time when they were badly wanted, and. careful record should be made of all Eucalyptus trees which yield fodder. We have problems to solve as to their identity yet, and if friends would send twigs (showing buds, flowers or fruit, or all three), together with precise locality and date of collection, the matter will be followed up.

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— Of a brownish colour, hard, heavy and close-grained.

Yappunya, or Yappundya, is a very useful timber for shafts, undercarriages of drays and waggons, and any heavy work; also good for house-blocks and posts. Some posts I know of have been used about forty years in a stockyard, being once shifted when about twenty years in first yard, and at the present time quite sound. It is a very close-grained wood, and will not break, but splinters. It is hard to get straight, as it grows very crooked. A good firewood, as it burns away to ash and leaves no charcoal. I have a picture-frame made from ring kappundya, which is very much admired. (R.J. Dalton, Wanaaring).

"It is the toughest timber of the district; you cannot break it. It is used for buggy-shafts, &c." (A. Murphy, then on Paroo.)

"A valuable and durable building and fencing timber." (A.W. Mullen.)


— Originally described as a tree of 50 feet or less.

Has an erect trunk for 20-30 feet; it then branches off into a number of limbs. The trunks are up to 3 feet 6 inches in diameter. It has very drooping branches, almost like a willow, and this, conjoined with the straight trunk, gives the tree a peculiar appearance. (A. Murphy, speaking of the Paroo.)

"About 40 feet high." (A.W. Mullen.)


— The specimens originally described by Mueller came from the rivers Warrego and Paroo.

Mr. Surveyor A. W. Mullen says it grows on the grey soil of the Paroo flats.

Mr. A. Murphy, who collected it on the Paroo, speaks of it as growing along the river banks, on low, flat country, and very abundant. Yantabulla, Cuttaburra River.

"Found only on the Paroo and Cuttaburra, in New South Wales, on black or flooded soil." (Mr. Surveyor A.W. Mullen.)

Tinapagee, Wanaaring. (R. J. Dalton.)


I have received it from the following localities:—Bulloo River (J.F. Bailey) near Thargomindah (Collector of F. M. Bailey); Maranoa district (ditto).

It is a dry-country species, and we require further observations as to its range, both in New South Wales and Queensland. As regards the former State, it has not been found east of the Darling, so far.


Plate 187: Napunyah. (Eucalyptus ochrophloia, F.v.M.) Lithograph by Margaret Flockton.

  • A. Sucker leaf, from Cuttaburra River, Yantabulla, N.S.W.
  • B. Twig, with buds and young fruit.
  • C. Ripe fruits.
  • D. Anther.


"Yipuyah" (Eucalyptus ochrophloia,); grey soil, Paroo Flats, N.S.W. (Photo, A.W. Mullen, Bourke.)

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