Yellow Box

Description

Common names

Yellow Box, Honey Box, Yellow Ironbark, Dargan, Honey-scented Gum, Yellow Ironbox, Yellow Jacket.

Scientific names

Eucalyptus melliodora.

Family

Myrtaceae.

Genus

Eucalyptus.

Name origin

Melliodora, from Latin melleus, honey, and odora, sweet or pleasant small, referring to nectar.

Rainfall

400mm.

Growth rate

Slow, moderate.

Growth height

Up to 30m.

Presence in Australia

Widespread on the lower slopes and rises of most catchments and districts.

This specie has been identified in the following Australian states: Qld, NSW, ACT, Vic.

Habitat

Grassy woodland. Moderately fertile, often sandy or alluvial soil.

Habit

Tree to 30m high. Spreading dense crown of fine grey-green foliage and fibrous-flaky "box" bark varying from dark to light brown-yellow, shedding in short ribbons from above.

Site preference

Light to heavy well-drained moist soils. Tolerates moderate frost and wind. Grows poorly on poorly-drained, infertile or strongly alkaline soil, or in particularly cold districts. Resents high water tables.

Characteristics

Long-lived. Slow to moderate growth rate. Bright-yellow inner bark is a feature.

Flowering

White-cream, Sep-Feb (mainly Nov). Profuse and honey-scented.

Seed collection

Usually throughout year.

Propagation

From seed (±530 viable seeds per gram). Optimum germination temperature is 270C.

Regeneration

From seed, particularly in absence of competitive exotic grasses or weeds, during wet summers. Seedlings relatively palatable to livestock. Regenerates well after fire and coppices readily.

Shade and shelter

Useful medium to high-level cover in windbreaks. Useful shade.

Land protection

Helps stabilise areas prone to landslips and slumping due to high water usage.

Fuel

Excellent. Produces few sparks. May be difficult to split and ignite.

Timber

Light pink or yellowish-brown, fine-textured with an interlocked grain. Very hard, heavy, strong and extremely durable. Density about 1100 kg/m3. Used for heavy construction, poles, sleepers and fencing. Becoming popular as furniture timber. Useful in woodlots for firewood and specialty timber. Foliage palatable to livestock and can be used in emergencies, although other species preferred.

Wildlife

Excellent habitat. Hollows are nesting and refuge sites for a range of native birds, including owls, and mammals, including possums and bats. Nectar-rich flowers are a food source for many native birds, mammals and insects including butterflies and caterpillars. Insect-eating birds attracted. A range of birds feed on seeds and fruits. Foliage is occasional koala forage.

Ornamental

Magnificent specimen for parks, roadsides and larger gardens, due to attractive fine foliage and form.

Other

Leaves produce a range of dyes depending on mordants used. Excellent honey tree.