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Useful Tropical Plants

Eucalyptus microtheca

F.Muell.

Myrtaceae

+ Synonyms

Eucalyptus raveretiana jerichoensis Domin

Common Name: Coolibah

Eucalyptus microtheca
Tree growing in native habitat
Photograph by: Greig, D.
Image credit to Australian National Botanic Gardens
Eucalyptus microtheca Eucalyptus microtheca Eucalyptus microtheca Eucalyptus microtheca

General Information

Eucalyptus microtheca is an evergreen shrub or small tree growing 3 - 20 metres tall depending on growing conditions. The bole may reach a diameter of 100 cm. The bole can be from very short to 1/3 of the tree height. In dry sites the tree is poorly formed with a straggly crown[
418
Title
Ecocrop
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://ecocrop.fao.org/ecocrop/srv/en/home
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
Basic information on a wide range of useful plants, plus details of environmental needs where available.
].
The tree is a traditional food crop and medicine of the Australian aborigines and, because of its potentially very fast growth, could be used as a timber crop.

Known Hazards

None known

Botanical References

200
Title
The New RHS Dictionary of Gardening. 1992.
Publication
 
Author
Huxley. A.
Publisher
MacMillan Press
Year
1992
ISBN
0-333-47494-5
Description
Excellent and very comprehensive, though it contains a number of silly mistakes. Readable yet also very detailed.
,
1660
Title
EUCLID - Eucalypts of Australia
Publication
 
Author
Centre for Australian National Biodiversity Research, Canber
Website
http://keyserver.lucidcentral.org:8080/euclid/data/02050e02-0108-490e-8900-0e0601070d00/media/Html/index.htm
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
A website dedicated to the genus Eucalyptus (sensu latu), with descriptions and nomencultural information on all the species.

Range

Australia - South Australia, New South Wales, Queensland, Northern Territory, Western Australia.

Habitat

Usually found on seasonally inundated clay to clay-loam soils around the edges of swamps or lagoons, or along watercourses[
418
Title
Ecocrop
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://ecocrop.fao.org/ecocrop/srv/en/home
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
Basic information on a wide range of useful plants, plus details of environmental needs where available.
,
1661
Title
Flora of South-eastern Queensland (3 volumes)
Publication
Queensland Department of Primary Industries; Miscellaneous Publication 81020
Author
Stanley T.D. & Ross E.M.
Publisher
Queensland Government; Queensland
Year
1983
ISBN
0-7242-2127-1
Description
 
].

Properties

Edibility Rating *  *
Medicinal Rating *  *
Other Uses Rating *  *
HabitEvergreen Tree
Height15.00 m
Growth RateFast
PollinatorsBees, Insects
Cultivation StatusWild

Cultivation Details

Eucalyptus microtheca is a plant of the arid and semiarid tropics and subtropics, where it is found at elevations up to 1,000 metres. It grows best in areas where annual daytime temperatures are within the range 24 - 39°c, but can tolerate 5 - 45°c[
418
Title
Ecocrop
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://ecocrop.fao.org/ecocrop/srv/en/home
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
Basic information on a wide range of useful plants, plus details of environmental needs where available.
]. It can be killed by temperatures of -4°c or lower, though new growth will be damaged if the temperature falls to zero[
418
Title
Ecocrop
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://ecocrop.fao.org/ecocrop/srv/en/home
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
Basic information on a wide range of useful plants, plus details of environmental needs where available.
]. It prefers a mean annual rainfall in the range 250 - 1,000mm, but tolerates 150 - 1,200mm[
418
Title
Ecocrop
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://ecocrop.fao.org/ecocrop/srv/en/home
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
Basic information on a wide range of useful plants, plus details of environmental needs where available.
].
Requires a sunny position[
418
Title
Ecocrop
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://ecocrop.fao.org/ecocrop/srv/en/home
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
Basic information on a wide range of useful plants, plus details of environmental needs where available.
]. Succeeds in most soils of at least moderate fertility[
418
Title
Ecocrop
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://ecocrop.fao.org/ecocrop/srv/en/home
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
Basic information on a wide range of useful plants, plus details of environmental needs where available.
]. Prefers a pH in the range 6.5 - 8, tolerating 6 - 9[
418
Title
Ecocrop
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://ecocrop.fao.org/ecocrop/srv/en/home
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
Basic information on a wide range of useful plants, plus details of environmental needs where available.
]. The plant often experiences inundation for part of the year and is also able to withstand up to 7 months drought[
418
Title
Ecocrop
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://ecocrop.fao.org/ecocrop/srv/en/home
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
Basic information on a wide range of useful plants, plus details of environmental needs where available.
].
The plant develops a lignotuber - this is a woody tuber that starts to develop near the base of seedlings and can become massive in the mature plants of some species. It possesses embedded vegetative buds, allowing the plant to regenerate following crown destruction, for example by fire[
1660
Title
EUCLID - Eucalypts of Australia
Publication
 
Author
Centre for Australian National Biodiversity Research, Canber
Website
http://keyserver.lucidcentral.org:8080/euclid/data/02050e02-0108-490e-8900-0e0601070d00/media/Html/index.htm
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
A website dedicated to the genus Eucalyptus (sensu latu), with descriptions and nomencultural information on all the species.
].
A potentially very fast-growing species if there is sufficient water, on suitable sites the growth may reach 3 metres per year[
418
Title
Ecocrop
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://ecocrop.fao.org/ecocrop/srv/en/home
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
Basic information on a wide range of useful plants, plus details of environmental needs where available.
]. Under irrigation it should be possible to grow the tree in deserts[
418
Title
Ecocrop
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://ecocrop.fao.org/ecocrop/srv/en/home
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
Basic information on a wide range of useful plants, plus details of environmental needs where available.
].
The tree can be harvested after 8 years from a seedling crop and after 6 years from subsequent coppice crops[
418
Title
Ecocrop
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://ecocrop.fao.org/ecocrop/srv/en/home
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
Basic information on a wide range of useful plants, plus details of environmental needs where available.
].
Annual wood production potential is 3 - 7 cubic metres per hectare[
418
Title
Ecocrop
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://ecocrop.fao.org/ecocrop/srv/en/home
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
Basic information on a wide range of useful plants, plus details of environmental needs where available.
].
The tree is fire tender[
418
Title
Ecocrop
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://ecocrop.fao.org/ecocrop/srv/en/home
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
Basic information on a wide range of useful plants, plus details of environmental needs where available.
].

Edible Uses

The seeds are powdered and made into cakes which are baked and eaten[
301
Title
Cornucopia II
Publication
 
Author
Facciola. S.
Publisher
Kampong Publications, California.
Year
1998
ISBN
0-9628087-2-5
Description
The second edition of an excellent guide to the edible uses of plants, though it does not give any details of cultivation etc.
].

This is one of several species of plant used by native Australians as a source of water where no free water was available. The roots were dug up, the bark removed and the roots cut into sections. These were then stood on end in a container into which the sap would drip, providing an often life-saving drink[
301
Title
Cornucopia II
Publication
 
Author
Facciola. S.
Publisher
Kampong Publications, California.
Year
1998
ISBN
0-9628087-2-5
Description
The second edition of an excellent guide to the edible uses of plants, though it does not give any details of cultivation etc.
,
601
Title
The Useful Native Plants of Australia.
Publication
 
Author
Maiden J.H.
Website
http://www.biodiversitylibrary.org
Publisher
Turner & Co.; London.
Year
1889
ISBN
 
Description
Terse details of the uses of many Australian plants and other species naturalised, or at least growing, in Australia. It can be downloaded from the Internet.
].

The plant is a source of 'lerp' - a sweet, manna-like substance[
301
Title
Cornucopia II
Publication
 
Author
Facciola. S.
Publisher
Kampong Publications, California.
Year
1998
ISBN
0-9628087-2-5
Description
The second edition of an excellent guide to the edible uses of plants, though it does not give any details of cultivation etc.
]. Lerps are waxy scale-like coverings constructed by the immature stage (nymphs) of several species of sap-sucking insects. They serve as a protection whilst the nymphs are feeding and are left behind when the insect pupates. They were a traditional food of the Australian Aborigines[
K
Title
Plants for a Future
Author
Ken Fern
Description
Notes from observations, tasting etc at Plants For A Future and on field trips.
].

Medicinal

The inner bark is a traditional Abiriginal medicine, mashed and prepared into a poultice to treat snakebite[
1096
Title
Native Tastes of Australia
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://tasteaustralia.biz/
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
A website with detailed information on around 50 species of native Australian food plants, including recipes.
].

Agroforestry Uses:

The tree is planted for shelterbelts, shade, soil conservation, and erosion control. Mentioned as a possible agroforestry species[
418
Title
Ecocrop
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://ecocrop.fao.org/ecocrop/srv/en/home
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
Basic information on a wide range of useful plants, plus details of environmental needs where available.
].
The flowers are an excellent source of nectar and pollen for bees[
1661
Title
Flora of South-eastern Queensland (3 volumes)
Publication
Queensland Department of Primary Industries; Miscellaneous Publication 81020
Author
Stanley T.D. & Ross E.M.
Publisher
Queensland Government; Queensland
Year
1983
ISBN
0-7242-2127-1
Description
 
].

Other Uses

An essential oil is obtained from the leaves. Total quantity of the oil, and its composition, can vary widely from plant to plant, but we have reports that the fresh leaves contain around 0.3 - 0.5% essential oil. The main components include pinene, phellandrene, 1,8-cineole, cymene, globulol[
1659
Title
Eucalyptus Leaf Oils: Use, Chemistry, Distillation and Marketing
Publication
Phytochemistry June 1992
Author
Southwell I.A.
Website
https://doi.org/10.1016/0031-9422(92)80403-2
Publisher
 
Year
1992
ISBN
 
Description
An extensive list of Eucalyptus species and their essential oil content.
].

The heartwood is reddish-brown or reddish; the sapwood is grey[
601
Title
The Useful Native Plants of Australia.
Publication
 
Author
Maiden J.H.
Website
http://www.biodiversitylibrary.org
Publisher
Turner & Co.; London.
Year
1889
ISBN
 
Description
Terse details of the uses of many Australian plants and other species naturalised, or at least growing, in Australia. It can be downloaded from the Internet.
]. The wood is remarkably hard, heavy and
elastic[
601
Title
The Useful Native Plants of Australia.
Publication
 
Author
Maiden J.H.
Website
http://www.biodiversitylibrary.org
Publisher
Turner & Co.; London.
Year
1889
ISBN
 
Description
Terse details of the uses of many Australian plants and other species naturalised, or at least growing, in Australia. It can be downloaded from the Internet.
]. It is useful in construction, though perhaps too hard for cabinet-work; it is used for durable poles, fenceposts, bearings, bolts, shafts, frames and wheels[
418
Title
Ecocrop
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://ecocrop.fao.org/ecocrop/srv/en/home
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
Basic information on a wide range of useful plants, plus details of environmental needs where available.
,
601
Title
The Useful Native Plants of Australia.
Publication
 
Author
Maiden J.H.
Website
http://www.biodiversitylibrary.org
Publisher
Turner & Co.; London.
Year
1889
ISBN
 
Description
Terse details of the uses of many Australian plants and other species naturalised, or at least growing, in Australia. It can be downloaded from the Internet.
]. It is neither very much used nor valued[
601
Title
The Useful Native Plants of Australia.
Publication
 
Author
Maiden J.H.
Website
http://www.biodiversitylibrary.org
Publisher
Turner & Co.; London.
Year
1889
ISBN
 
Description
Terse details of the uses of many Australian plants and other species naturalised, or at least growing, in Australia. It can be downloaded from the Internet.
].
The wood is used for fuel and to make charcoal[
418
Title
Ecocrop
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://ecocrop.fao.org/ecocrop/srv/en/home
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
Basic information on a wide range of useful plants, plus details of environmental needs where available.
].

Propagation

Seed - surface sow in a sunny position and make sure the compost is not allowed to dry out[
11
Title
Trees and Shrubs Hardy in Great Britain. Vol 1 - 4 and Supplement.
Publication
 
Author
Bean. W.
Publisher
Murray
Year
1981
ISBN
-
Description
A classic with a wealth of information on the plants, but poor on pictures.
,
78
Title
Propagation of Trees, Shrubs and Conifers.
Publication
 
Author
Sheat. W. G.
Publisher
MacMillan and Co
Year
1948
ISBN
-
Description
A bit dated but a good book on propagation techniques with specific details for a wide range of plants.
,
134
Title
Growing from Seed. Volume 2.
Publication
 
Author
Rice. G. (Editor)
Publisher
Thompson and Morgan.
Year
1988
ISBN
-
Description
Very readable magazine with lots of information on propagation. An interesting article on Ensete ventricosum.
]. Species that come from high altitudes appreciate 6 - 8 weeks cold stratification at 2°c[
200
Title
The New RHS Dictionary of Gardening. 1992.
Publication
 
Author
Huxley. A.
Publisher
MacMillan Press
Year
1992
ISBN
0-333-47494-5
Description
Excellent and very comprehensive, though it contains a number of silly mistakes. Readable yet also very detailed.
]. Pot up the seedlings into individual pots as soon as the second set of seed leaves has developed, if left longer than this they might not move well. The seedlings are ready for planting in the field when they are 25 - 30 cm tall, usually after 3 - 4 months.
The seed has a long viability[
200
Title
The New RHS Dictionary of Gardening. 1992.
Publication
 
Author
Huxley. A.
Publisher
MacMillan Press
Year
1992
ISBN
0-333-47494-5
Description
Excellent and very comprehensive, though it contains a number of silly mistakes. Readable yet also very detailed.
].
Cite as: Tropical Plants Database, Ken Fern. tropical.theferns.info. 2024-06-14. <tropical.theferns.info/viewtropical.php?id=Eucalyptus+microtheca>

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