Mugga

Description

Common names

Mugga, Red Ironbark, Ironbark, Mugga Ironbark, Red-flowering Ironbark, Three Fruited Red Ironbark.

Scientific names

Eucalyptus sideroxylon.

Family

Myrtaceae.

Genus

Eucalyptus.

Name origin

Sideroxylon, from Greek sideros, iron, and xylon, wood, referring to the hard wood.

Rainfall

500mm.

Growth rate

Moderate.

Growth height

Up to 35m.

Presence in Australia

Confined to Gilmore Lower and Sandy subcatchments.

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

Habitat

Sclerophyll woodland on lighter poorer soils.

Habit

Tree to 35m high with red-brown to brown-black "ironbark" and dull green or grey-green adult leaves.

Site preference

Poor, shallow soils including gravels, sands, ironstones and clays. Tolerates frost. Moderately drought tolerant.

Characteristics

Moderate growth rate.

Seed collection

Early Aug-late Feb. Monitor seed-bearing capsules as seed released 3-8 weeks after maturity.

Propagation

From seed (±226 viable seed per gram).

Regeneration

From seed, particularly in the absence of competitive exotic grasses or weeds, and during wet summers.

Shade and shelter

Useful medium to high-level cover in windbreaks.

Fuel

Excellent.

Timber

Dark red with moderately fine texture and interlocked grain. Very hard, strong, and extremely durable. Density about 1150 kg/m3. Used for heavy engineering construction, railway sleepers and in turnery. Gaining popularity as furniture timber and for electric fence posts and droppers. Posts last in the ground for over 100 years. Appears to retain rich-coloured timber when grown quickly. Potential for woodlot planting for farm timber, firewood and valuable specialty timber.

Wildlife

Excellent habitat. Honeyeaters, Swift Parrots, lorikeets, Squirrel Gliders and Sugar Gliders attracted to nectar, an important winter food source. Important food source for many native insect-eating birds and mammals. Hollows good nest sites for many birds and mammals.

Koori

Timber used for boomerangs.

Ornamental

Very attractive. Flowers prolifically. Beautiful dark bark and contrasting foliage. Apparently retains rich coloured features when grown quickly.

Other

Leaves and bark produce various-coloured dyes depending on mordants used. Leaves contain high quality medicinal oil, with at least 70% cineole content, used commercially. One of most reliable honey producing Australian trees.