Eucalyptus cuprea  |  

Eucalyptus cuprea

Status: Endangered on the EPBC Act list

The following description is based on Evans, Brown and English (1999).
The mallee box stands upright 4 Ð 6 m tall, with a ÔstockingÕ of thin, flaky and fibrous grey bark,
above which it is smooth and grey or coppery. The juvenile leaves are light green and oval shaped. The adult leaves are narrow, approximately 11 cm long and 2.3 cm wide, and a glossy
dark green. The juvenile buds are club-shaped, with a distinct scar from the early loss of the
outer operculum (or bud cap). The inflorescence is terminal and has small white flowers, 6 mm
long and 4 mm wide, with inner stamens that are inflected (folded in), and with outer stamens
that lack anthers. The valves of the stalked cup-shaped fruits, up to 5 mm long and 4 mm wide,
are positioned below the rim, and hold greyish-brown seeds.
The mallee boxÕs lack of anthers distinguishes it from similar Eucalyptus species. Mallee box
can be confused with Eucalyptus loxophleba subsp. loxophleba (York gum), which has heart shaped, smoky-grey juvenile leaves, as distinct from the light green oval or egg shape leaves of
the mallee box. The pattern of veins in the leaves of mallee box is much denser than the York
gum, and mallee box seeds are darker, being a greyish brown.
Mallee box is related to, but differs from Eucalyptus. absita (Badgingarra box) in the light green,
oval-shaped juvenile leaves and a less prominent disc. Eucalypotus petraea (granite rock box) is
also related to mallee box but has larger buds and fruits

Government evidence of impact of climate change:

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  • Australian Government, Conservation Advice, Eucalyptus cuprea

    Threats The main threats to the box mallee are farming activities; grazing by sheep (Ovis aries); weeds; competition from local species; clearing and firebreak maintenance; insect infestation; road maintenance activities; fire events occurring too frequently for regeneration to be successful; and habitat fragmentation causing lack of connectivity between genetic individuals (Evans; Brown English 1999).

    Grassy weeds also increase the risk of fire (Evans; Brown English 1999).