Corymbia terminalis

Corymbia terminalis, also known as tjuta, joolta, bloodwood, desert bloodwood, plains bloodwood, northern bloodwood, western bloodwood or the inland bloodwood,[2][3] is a species of small to medium-sized tree, rarely a mallee that is endemic to Australia. It has rough, tessellated bark on some or all of the trunk, sometimes also on the larger branches, smooth white to cream-coloured bark above, lance-shaped adult leaves, flower buds in groups of seven, white flowers and urn-shaped fruit.

Corymbia terminalis habit.jpg
Scientific classification edit
Kingdom: Plantae
Clade: Tracheophytes
Clade: Angiosperms
Clade: Eudicots
Clade: Rosids
Order: Myrtales
Family: Myrtaceae
Genus: Corymbia
C. terminalis
Binomial name
Corymbia terminalis
Occurrence data from Australasian Virtual Herbarium (including that of C. opaca
  • Corymbia tumescensK.D.Hill & L.A.S.Johnson
  • Eucalyptus pyrophoraBenth.
  • Eucalyptus pyrophoraBenth. f. pyrophora
  • Eucalyptus pyrophoraBenth. var. pyrophora
  • Eucalyptus terminalisF.Muell.
  • Eucalyptus centralisauct. non D.J.Carr & S.G.M.Carr: Robson, Peter J.
  • Eucalyptus polycarpaauct. non F.Muell.: Blakely, W.F.
  • Eucalyptus pyrophora var. polycarpaauct. non (F.Muell.) Maiden: Maiden, J.H.
Bloodwood Bleeding
Bloodwood Tree in Karijini National Park
Corymbia terminalis foliage and buds


Corymbia terminalis is a tree that typically grows to a height of 18 metres (59 ft), rarely a mallee, and forms a lignotuber. It has rough, tessellated light brown to light grey bark on part or all of trunk, sometimes extending to the larger branches. Young plants and coppice regrowth have egg-shaped to elliptical or lance-shaped leaves that are 60–170 mm (2.4–6.7 in) long, 12–45 mm (0.47–1.77 in) wide, tapering to a petiole and arranged in opposite pairs. Adult leaves are arranged alternately, the same shade of grey-green on both sides, lance-shaped, 80–200 mm (3.1–7.9 in) long and 12–30 mm (0.47–1.18 in) wide on a petiole 10–30 mm (0.39–1.18 in) long.[4][5][6]

The flower buds are arranged on the ends of branchlets on a branched peduncle 5–20 mm (0.20–0.79 in) long, each branch of the peduncle with seven buds on pedicels 2–13 mm (0.079–0.512 in) long. Mature buds are scurfy, oval to pear-shaped, greenish to brown or cream-coloured, 6–14 mm (0.24–0.55 in) long, 5–10 mm (0.20–0.39 in) wide with a conical, rounded or flattened operculum. Flowering occurs between March and October and the flowers are white. The fruit is a woody urn-shaped capsule 15–31 mm (0.59–1.22 in) long and 12–22 mm (0.47–0.87 in) wide on a pedicel 2–12 mm (0.079–0.472 in) long and with the valves enclosed in the fruit. The seeds are light brown or reddish brown, 9–12 mm (0.35–0.47 in) long with a wing on the end.[4][5][6]

Taxonomy and namingEdit

Tjuta was first formally described in 1859 by Ferdinand von Mueller and given the name Eucalyptus terminalis. The description was published in the Journal of the Proceedings of the Linnean Society, Botany from samples collected from Arnhem Land in the Northern Territory in 1856.[4][7][8] In 1995, Ken Hill and Lawrie Johnson changed the name to Corymbia terminalis, publishing the change in the journal Telopea.[4][6][9]

In the same paper, Hill and John described C. terminalis, C. opaca and C. tumescens as distinct species with intergrades between them. The Australian Plant Census regards C. tumescens as a synonym but it is considered by the National Herbarium of New South Wales to be distinct.[1][6][9][10]

Distribution and habitatEdit

This eucalypt occurs in arid and seasonally dry areas of the Northern Territory, Queensland, the north-west of New South Wales and the extreme north of South Australia. Corymbia opaca, sometimes included in C. terminalis is found in the northern half of Western Australia.[4][11] The tree typically grows on river flats, scree slopes and dune swales.[11] It prefers well drained soils and is both drought and frost tolerant.[12]


Corymbia terminalis produces drops of nectar from the flowers which provide a high energy food source for many desert animals including honeyeaters, insects and possums. It is also host to an unusual female insect called a coccid. Once the coccid burrows into the bark it forms a gall which it never leaves. Hidden away it sucks sap from the trees veins. The gall that grows on the tree is the coconut, once broken open the insect on the inside can be eaten and contains a lot of moisture and is a disinfectant.[12]

Indigenous usesEdit

Indigenous Australians used the tree for traditional medicine. The exudate from the truck or branches was diluted and used as an antiseptic treatment of facial cuts and sores.[13] Larger leaves were also useful for staunching wounds.[14] The red bark kino can be stripped from the tree and mixed in water then consumed for diarrhoea as well as for indigestion and chest pain.[15]

The wood from the tree was also used by Indigenous peoples to make spear-throwers, digging bowls and carrying vessels. Europeans used the wood to make fence-posts, joists slabs and buildings as well as using it for firewood.[16]

See alsoEdit

List of Corymbia species


  1. ^ a b c "Corymbia terminalis". Australian Plant Census. Retrieved 27 February 2020.
  2. ^ Dean Nicolle. "Native Eucalypts of South Australia". Retrieved 17 September 2016.
  3. ^ "Corymbia terminalis (F.Muell.) K.D.Hill & L.A.S.Johnson". FloraNT. Northern Territory Government. Retrieved 17 September 2016.
  4. ^ a b c d e "Corymbia terminalis". Euclid: Centre for Australian National Biodiversity Research. Retrieved 27 February 2020.
  5. ^ a b Chippendale, George M. "Eucalyptus terminalis". Australian Biological Resources Study, Department of Agriculture, Water and the Environment, Canberra. Retrieved 27 February 2020.
  6. ^ a b c d Hill, Kenneth D.; Johnson, Lawrence A.S. (1995). "Systematic studies in the eucalypts. 7. A revision of the bloodwoods, genus Corymbia (Myrtaceae)". Telopea. 6 (2–3): 323–324.
  7. ^ "Eucalyptus terminalis". APNI. Retrieved 27 February 2020.
  8. ^ von Mueller, Ferdinand (1859). "Monograph of the Eucalypti of Tropical Australia". Journal of the Proceedings of the Linnean Society, Botany. 3: 89. Retrieved 27 February 2020.
  9. ^ a b "Corymbia terminalis". APNI. Retrieved 27 February 2020.
  10. ^ Philip Moore 2005 “A Guide to Plants of Inland Australia” Reed New Holland
  11. ^ a b Boland, D.J., Brooker, M.I.H., Chippendale, G.M., Hall, N., Hyland, B.P.M., Johnston, R.D., Kleinig, D.A., McDonald, M.W. & Turner J.D. 1999 "Forest Trees of Australia" CSIRO Publishing
  12. ^ a b "Corymbia terminalis syn. Eucalyptus terminalis". Australian Seed. Retrieved 17 September 2016.
  13. ^ Christine A. Jones (March 1998). "The Medicinal Properties and Bush Foods of Eucalypts". The Society for Growing Australian Plants. Retrieved 17 September 2016.
  14. ^ "Healing Secrets of Aboriginal Bush Medicine". Archived from the original on 6 March 2019. Retrieved 17 September 2016.
  15. ^ "Bush Remedies". Native tastes of Australia. Retrieved 17 September 2016.
  16. ^ "Corymbia terminalis (F.Muell.)K.D.Hill & L.A.S.Johnson". Arid Australian Hardwoods. Retrieved 17 September 2016.