Eucalyptus ophitica

Eucalyptus ophitica, commonly known as the serpentine ironbark,[2] is a species of small ironbark tree that is endemic to a small area of northern New South Wales. It has grey ironbark, lance-shaped adult leaves, flower buds in groups of seven, white flowers and cup-shaped, conical or hemispherical fruit.

Serpentine ironbark
Scientific classification edit
Kingdom: Plantae
Clade: Tracheophytes
Clade: Angiosperms
Clade: Eudicots
Clade: Rosids
Order: Myrtales
Family: Myrtaceae
Genus: Eucalyptus
E. ophitica
Binomial name
Eucalyptus ophitica


Eucalyptus ophitica is a tree that typically grows to a height of 10–15 m (33–49 ft) and forms a lignotuber. Young plants and coppice regrowth have dull green, egg-shaped to lance-shaped leaves that are 75–20 mm (2.95–0.79 in) long and 30–70 mm (1.2–2.8 in) wide. Adult leaves are the same shade of green on both sides, lance-shaped, 78–170 mm (3.1–6.7 in) long and 17–25 mm (0.67–0.98 in) wide, tapering to a petiole 15–28 mm (0.59–1.10 in) long. The flower buds are arranged in leaf axils in groups of seven on a peduncle 4–10 mm (0.16–0.39 in) long, the individual buds on pedicels 3–8 mm (0.12–0.31 in) long. Mature buds are club-shaped to more or less cylindrical, 8–10 mm (0.31–0.39 in) long and 4–6 mm (0.16–0.24 in) wide with a rounded operculum. The flowers are white and the fruit is a woody, cup-shaped, conical or hemispherical capsule 4–6 mm (0.16–0.24 in) long and 5–7 mm (0.20–0.28 in) wide with the valves protruding above the rim.[2][3][4]

Taxonomy and namingEdit

Eucalyptus ophitica was first formally described in 1990 by Lawrie Johnson and Ken Hill in the journal Telopea from specimens collected near Baryulgil in 1984.[4][5] The specific epithet (ophitica) is from the Greek ophites, meaning "serpentine" (rock), referring to the rocks where the species is found.[4]

Distribution and habitatEdit

Serpentine ironbark grows in grassy woodland on hilly serpentine outcrops in the Upper Clarence.[2][4]


  1. ^ "Eucalyptus ophitica". Australian Plant Census. Retrieved 21 November 2019.
  2. ^ a b c "Eucalyptus ophitica". Euclid: Centre for Australian National Biodiversity Research. Retrieved 31 May 2020.
  3. ^ K.Hill. "New South Wales Flora Online: Eucalyptus ophitica". Royal Botanic Gardens & Domain Trust, Sydney, Australia.
  4. ^ a b c d Johnson, Lawrence A.S.; Hill, Kenneth D. (1990). "New taxa and combinations in Eucalyptus and Angophora (Myrtaceae)". Telopea. 4 (1): 67–69.
  5. ^ "Eucalyptus ophitica". APNI. Retrieved 21 November 2019.