Eucalyptus marginata

Last updated

Jarrah tree burls 01 gnangarra.JPG
Scientific classification Red Pencil Icon.png
Kingdom: Plantae
Clade: Tracheophytes
Clade: Angiosperms
Clade: Eudicots
Clade: Rosids
Order: Myrtales
Family: Myrtaceae
Genus: Eucalyptus
E. marginata
Binomial name
Eucalyptus marginata
Donn ex Sm. [1]
  • E. marginata subsp. marginata [2]
  • E. marginata subsp. thalassica [3]
Synonyms [1]
  • Eucalyptus floribundaHügel ex Endl.
  • Eucalyptus hypoleucaSchauer
  • Eucalyptus mahoganiF.Muell. orth. var.
  • Eucalyptus mahoganiiF.Muell.
  • Eucalyptus marginataDonn nom. inval., nom. nud.
  • Eucalyptus pedicellataMaiden nom. inval., pro syn.
  • Eucalyptus pedicellataGrimwade nom. inval., pro syn.
Bark Jarrah bark.jpg

Eucalyptus marginata, commonly known as jarrah, [4] djarraly in Noongar language [5] and historically as Swan River mahogany, [6] is a plant in the myrtle family, Myrtaceae and is endemic to the south-west of Western Australia. It is a tree with rough, fibrous bark, leaves with a distinct midvein, white flowers and relatively large, more or less spherical fruit. Its hard, dense timber is insect resistant although the tree is susceptible to dieback. The timber has been utilised for cabinet-making, flooring and railway sleepers.



The Looming Relic, the largest jarrah tree The Looming Relic.jpg
The Looming Relic, the largest jarrah tree

Jarrah is a tree which sometimes grows to a height of up to 50 m (160 ft) with a diameter at breast height (DBH) of 3.5 m (11 ft), but more usually 40 m (130 ft) with a DBH of up to 2 m (6 ft 7 in). Less commonly it can be a small mallee to 3 m. [7] Older specimens have a lignotuber and roots that extend down as far as 40 m (100 ft). It is a stringybark with rough, greyish-brown, vertically grooved, fibrous bark which sheds in long flat strips. The leaves are arranged alternately along the branches, narrow lance-shaped, often curved, 8–13 cm (3–5 in) long and 1.5–3 cm (0.6–1 in) broad, shiny dark green above and paler below. There is a distinct midvein, spreading lateral veins and a marginal vein separated from the margin. The stalked flower buds are arranged in umbels of between 4 and 8, each bud with a narrow, conical cap 5–9 mm (0.2–0.4 in) long. The flowers 1–2 cm (0.4–0.8 in) in diameter, with many white stamens and bloom in spring and early summer. The fruit are spherical to barrel-shaped, and 9–20 mm (0.4–0.8 in) long and broad. [8] [9] [10] [11] [12]

Taxonomy and naming

Roadside jarrah tree in Darling Range Roadside JarrahTree in Darling Range.jpg
Roadside jarrah tree in Darling Range

Eucalyptus marginata was first formally described in 1802 by James Edward Smith, whose description was published in Transactions of the Linnean Society of London . Smith noted that his specimens had grown from seeds brought from Port Jackson and noted a resemblance to both Eucalyptus robusta and E. pilularis . [13] [14] The specific epithet (marginata) is a Latin word meaning "furnished with a border". [15] Smith did not provide an etymology for the epithet but did note that, compared to E. robusta "the margin [of the leaves] is more thickened". [14]

Distribution and habitat

Eucalyptus marginata occurs in the south-west corner of Western Australia, generally where the rainfall isohyet exceeds 600 mm (20 in). It is found inland as far as Mooliabeenee, Clackline and Narrogin and in the south as far east as the Stirling Range. Its northern limit is Mount Peron near Jurien Bay but there are also outliers at Kulin and Tutanning in the Pingelly Shire. The plant often takes the form of a mallee in places like Mount Lesueur and in the Stirling Range but it is usually a tree and in southern forests sometimes reaches a height of 40 metres (130 ft). It typically grows in soils derived from ironstone and is generally found within its range, wherever ironstone is present. [8] [16] [17]


Jarrah is an important element in its ecosystem, providing numerous habitats for animal life – especially birds and bees – while it is alive, and in the hollows that form as the heartwood decays. When it falls, it provides shelter to ground-dwellers such as the chuditch (Dasyurus geoffroii), a carnivorous marsupial.

Jarrah has shown considerable adaptation to different ecologic zones – as in the Swan Coastal Plain and further north, and also to a different habitat of the lateritic Darling Scarp. [18]

Jarrah is very vulnerable to dieback caused by the oomycete Phytophthora cinnamomi . In large sections of the Darling Scarp there have been various measures to reduce the spread of dieback by washing down vehicles, and restricting access to areas of forest not yet infected.


Jarrah blossom Jarrah - Eucalyptus marginata.jpg
Jarrah blossom
Jarrah was commonly used for fencing in Western Australia. JarrahFence gobeirne.jpg
Jarrah was commonly used for fencing in Western Australia.
Jarrah wine rack Jarrah wine rack.jpg
Jarrah wine rack
Second-hand jarrah flooring after 80 grit sanding in New Zealand Jarrah Flooring NZ.jpg
Second-hand jarrah flooring after 80 grit sanding in New Zealand

Jarrah produces a dark, thick, tasty honey, but its wood is its main use. It is a heavy wood, with a specific gravity of 1.1 when green. Its long, straight trunks of richly coloured and beautifully grained termite-resistant timber make it valuable for cabinet making, flooring, panelling and outdoor furniture. The finished lumber has a deep rich reddish-brown colour and an attractive grain. When fresh, jarrah is quite workable but when seasoned it becomes so hard that conventional wood-working tools are near useless on it. [19] It is mainly used for cabinet making and furniture although in the past it was used in general construction, railway sleepers and piles. In the 19th century, famous roads in other countries were paved with jarrah blocks covered with asphalt. [4] [8]

Jarrah wood is very similar to that of Karri, Eucalyptus diversicolor . Both trees are found in the southwest of Australia, and the two woods are frequently confused. They can be distinguished by cutting an unweathered splinter and burning it: karri burns completely to a white ash, whereas jarrah forms charcoal. This property of jarrah was critical to charcoal making and charcoal iron smelting operations at Wundowie from 1948 to 1981. [20] Most of the best jarrah has been logged in southwestern Australia[citation needed].

A large amount was exported to the United Kingdom, where it was cut into blocks and covered with asphalt for roads. One of the large exporters in the late nineteenth century was M. C. Davies who had mills in the Augusta - Margaret River region of the southwest, and ports at Hamelin Bay and Flinders Bay.

The local poet Dryblower Murphy wrote a poem, "Comeanavajarrah" that was published in The Sunday Times of May 1904, about the potential to extract alcohol from jarrah timber. [21]

Jarrah has become more highly prized, and supports an industry that recycles it from demolished houses. Even so, in 2004, old 4-by-2-inch (10 by 5 cm) recycled jarrah was routinely advertised in Perth papers for under $1.50 per metre.[ citation needed ] Larger pieces of the timber were produced in the early history of the industry, from trees of great age, and these are also recovered from the demolition of older buildings.

Offcuts and millends, dead and fire-affected jarrah also sell as firewood for those using wood for heating in Perth, and 1-tonne (2,200 lb) loads can (as of winter 2005) exceed $160 per load. [22] Jarrah tends to work well in slow combustion stoves and closed fires and generates a greater heat than most other available woods.[ citation needed ]

Jarrah is used in musical instrument making, for percussion instruments and guitar inlays.

Because of its remarkable resistance to rot, jarrah is used to make hot tubs.

Eucalyptus marginata have been used for traditional purposes as well. Some parts of the jarrah tree were used as a remedy for some illnesses and diseases. Fever, colds, headaches, skin diseases and snakes bites were traditionally cured through the use of jarrah leaves and bark. [23]

See also

Related Research Articles

<i>Eucalyptus</i> Genus of flowering plants in the myrtle family, Myrtaceae

Eucalyptus is a genus of over seven hundred species of flowering trees, shrubs or mallees in the myrtle family, Myrtaceae. Along with several other genera in the tribe Eucalypteae, including Corymbia, they are commonly known as eucalypts. Plants in the genus Eucalyptus have bark that is either smooth, fibrous, hard or stringy, leaves with oil glands, and sepals and petals that are fused to form a "cap" or operculum over the stamens. The fruit is a woody capsule commonly referred to as a "gumnut".

<i>Eucalyptus diversicolor</i>

Eucalyptus diversicolor, commonly known as karri, is a species of flowering plant in the family Myrtaceae and is endemic to the south-west of Western Australia. It is a tall tree with smooth light grey to cream-coloured, often mottled bark, lance-shaped adult leaves and barrel-shaped fruit. Found in higher rainfall areas, karri is commercially important for its timber.

<i>Allocasuarina fraseriana</i>

Allocasuarina fraseriana, commonly known as western sheoak, common sheoak, WA sheoak. Fraser's sheoak or just sheoak, is a tree in the family Casuarinaceae. Endemic to Western Australia, it occurs near the coast in the south west corner of the State, from Jurien to Albany . The Noongar peoples know the tree as Condil, Kulli or Gulli.

<i>Corymbia calophylla</i>

Corymbia calophylla is a large and common tree in the southwest of Australia.

<i>Banksia grandis</i> Species of tree in the family Proteacea from the south-west of Western Australia

Banksia grandis, commonly known as bull banksia or giant banksia, is a species of common and distinctive tree in the south-west of Western Australia. The Noongar peoples know the tree as beera, biara, boongura, gwangia, pira or peera. It has a fire-resistant main stem with thick bark, pinnatisect leaves with triangular side-lobes, pale yellow flowers and elliptical follicles in a large cone.

<i>Eucalyptus jacksonii</i>

Eucalyptus jacksonii, commonly known as the red tingle, is a species of tall tree endemic to the south west Western Australia and is one of the tallest trees found in the state. It has thick, rough, stringy reddish bark from the base of the trunk to the thinnest branches, egg-shaped to lance-shaped adult leaves, flower buds in groups of seven, white flowers and shortened spherical to barrel-shaped fruit.

<i>Eucalyptus patens</i>

Eucalyptus patens, commonly known as yarri or blackbutt, is a species of flowering plant in the family Myrtaceae and is endemic to the south-west of Western Australia. It has rough bark on the trunk and branches, lance-shaped leaves, creamy-white flowers and spherical to oval fruit.

<i>Eucalyptus gomphocephala</i>

Eucalyptus gomphocephala, known as tuart, is a species of tree, one of the six forest giants of Southwest Australia. Tuart forest was common on the Swan coastal plain, until the valuable trees were felled for export and displaced by the urban development around Perth, Western Australia. The wood is dense, hard, water resistant and resists splintering, and found many uses when it was available. Remnants of tuart forest occur in state reserves and parks, the tree has occasionally been introduced to other regions of Australia and overseas. Remaining trees are vulnerable to phytophthora dieback, an often fatal disorder, including a previously unknown species discovered during analysis of dead specimens.

Warren (biogeographic region)

Warren, also known as Karri Forest Region and the Jarrah-Karri forest and shrublands ecoregion, is a biogeographic region in southern Western Australia. Located in the southwest corner of Western Australia between Cape Naturaliste and Albany, it is bordered to the north and east by the Jarrah Forest region. Its defining characteristic is an extensive tall forest of Eucalyptus diversicolor (karri). This occurs on dissected, hilly ground, with a moderately wet climate. Karri is a valuable timber and much of the karri forest has been logged over, but less than a third has been cleared for agriculture. Recognised as a region under the Interim Biogeographic Regionalisation for Australia (IBRA), and as a terrestrial ecoregion by the World Wide Fund for Nature, it was first defined by Ludwig Diels in 1906.

<i>Eucalyptus cornuta</i>

Eucalyptus cornuta, commonly known as yate, is a tree species, sometimes a mallee and is endemic to the southwest of Western Australia. It has rough, fibrous bark on all or most of its trunk, smooth bark above, mostly lance-shaped adult leaves, elongated flower buds in groups of eleven or more, yellowish flowers and cylindrical to cup-shaped fruit. It is widely cultivated and produces one of the hardest and strongest timbers in the world.

<i>Eucalyptus rudis</i>

Eucalyptus rudis, commonly known as flooded gum or moitch, is a species of small to medium-sized tree endemic to coastal areas near Perth, Western Australia. The Noongar names for the tree are colaille, gooloorto, koolert and moitch. This tree has rough, fibrous bark on the trunk and large branches, smooth greyish bark above, lance-shaped to curved adult leaves, flower buds in groups of between seven and eleven, white flowers and bell-shaped, cup-shaped or hemispherical fruit.

<i>Eucalyptus megacarpa</i>

Eucalyptus megacarpa, commonly known by its Noongar name of bullich, is a species of robust mallee or small to medium-sized tree with a scattered distribution in the forests of the south-west of Western Australia. It has smooth bark throughout, lance-shaped to curved adult leaves, flower buds in groups of three, white flowers and cup-shaped, bell-shaped or hemispherical fruit.

<i>Armillaria luteobubalina</i> Species of fungus in the family Physalacriaceae.

Armillaria luteobubalina, commonly known as the Australian honey fungus, is a species of mushroom in the family Physalacriaceae. Widely distributed in southern Australia, the fungus is responsible for a disease known as Armillaria root rot, a primary cause of Eucalyptus tree death and forest dieback. It is the most pathogenic and widespread of the six Armillaria species found in Australia. The fungus has also been collected in Argentina and Chile. Fruit bodies have cream- to tan-coloured caps that grow up to 10 cm (4 in) in diameter and stems that measure up to 20 cm (8 in) long by 1.5 cm (1 in) thick. The fruit bodies, which appear at the base of infected trees and other woody plants in autumn (March–April), are edible, but require cooking to remove the bitter taste. The fungus is dispersed through spores produced on gills on the underside of the caps, and also by growing vegetatively through the root systems of host trees. The ability of the fungus to spread vegetatively is facilitated by an aerating system that allows it to efficiently diffuse oxygen through rhizomorphs—rootlike structures made of dense masses of hyphae.

Jarrah Forest

Jarrah Forest is an interim Australian bioregion located in Western Australia. The Jarrah Forest comprises reserves across the south-west corner of WA and is managed for uses including recreation. There are many small areas of parkland while larger protected areas include the Dryandra Woodland, Lane-Poole Reserve, and the Perup Forest Ecology Centre. Also managed for land uses such as water, timber and mineral production, recreation and conservation, the forest is recognised globally as a significant hotspot of plant biodiversity and endemism.

The western false pipistrelle, species Falsistrellus mackenziei, is a vespertilionid bat that occurs in Southwest Australia. The population is declining due to loss of its habitat, old growth in tall eucalypt forest which has largely been clear felled for tree plantations, wheat cultivation and urbanisation. Although it is one of the largest Australian bats of the family, the species was not recorded or described until the early 1960s. A darkly colored bat with reddish brown fur and prominent ears, they fly rapidly around the upper canopy of trees in pursuit of flying insects.

<i>Eucalyptus wandoo</i>

Eucalyptus wandoo, commonly known as wandoo, dooto, warrnt or wornt, is a small to medium-sized tree that is endemic to the southwest of Western Australia. It has smooth bark, lance-shaped adult leaves, flower buds in groups of nine to seventeen, white flowers and conical to cylindrical fruit. It is one of a number of similar Eucalyptus species known as wandoo.

<i>Eucalyptus amygdalina</i>

Eucalyptus amygdalina, or black peppermint, is a species of Eucalyptus which is endemic to Tasmania, Australia. It was first described by Labillardiere in 1806. It is one of the most common eucalypts in the state, where it is often a tree in sclerophyll forest or a shrub in open scrub and heath. It is known to integrate with E. nitida and E. pulchella.

<i>Eucalyptus guilfoylei</i>

Eucalyptus guilfoylei, commonly known as yellow tingle or dingul dingul, is a species of tall tree that is endemic to Western Australia. The trunk is straight with fibrous, greyish brown bark and it has lance-shaped leaves, flower buds in groups of seven, white flowers and barrel-shaped fruit.

<i>Eucalyptus longicornis</i>

Eucalyptus longicornis, commonly known as red morrel, morryl, poot or pu, is a species of large tree that is endemic to the south-west of Western Australia. It has rough, fibrous, fissured bark on the trunk, smooth greyish bark above, flower buds in groups of seven or more, white flowers and shortened spherical fruit.

<i>Eucalyptus doratoxylon</i>

Eucalyptus doratoxylon, commonly known as the spearwood mallee, spearwood or geitch-gmunt in Noongar language is a species of mallee that is endemic to Western Australia. It has smooth, powdery white bark, lance-shaped to curved adult leaves mostly arranged in opposite pairs, flower buds in groups of seven, white to pale yellow flowers and pendulous, more or less spherical fruit.


  1. 1 2 "Eucalyptus marginata". Australian Plant Census. Retrieved 27 January 2021.
  2. "Eucalyptus marginata subsp. marginata". Australian Plant Census. Retrieved 27 January 2021.
  3. "Eucalyptus marginatasubsp. thalassica". Australian Plant Census. Retrieved 27 January 2021.
  4. 1 2 "Jarrah - Eucalyptus marginata". Forest Products Commission - Western Australia. Retrieved 7 September 2018.
  5. "Noongar word list". Kaartdijin Noongar. Retrieved 7 September 2018.
  6. Hewett, Peter Neil. "Information sheet - "Tall Trees"" (PDF). Forests Department Western Australia. Retrieved 7 September 2018.
  7. Nicolle, Dean (2019). Eucalypts of Western Australia - The South-West Coast and Ranges (1st ed.). WA: Scott print. pp. 274–5. ISBN   978-0-646-80613-6.
  8. 1 2 3 Gardner, Charles Austin (1987). Eucalypts of Western Australia. Perth: Western Australian Herbarium, Dept. of Agriculture, Western Australia. pp. 8–10. ISBN   0724489983.
  9. Wrigley, John (2012). Eucalypts: A Celebration. Crows Nest, N.S.W.: Allen & Unwin. p. 60. ISBN   978-1-74331-080-9.
  10. Lintern, Melvyn; Anand, Ravi; Ryan, Chris; Paterson, David (2013). "Natural gold particles in Eucalyptus leaves and their relevance to exploration for buried gold deposits". Nature Communications. 4: 2614. Bibcode:2013NatCo...4.2274L. doi:10.1038/ncomms3614. ISSN   2041-1723. PMC   3826622 . PMID   24149278.
  11. "Eucalyptus marginata subsp. marginata". Centre for Australian National Biodiversity Research. Retrieved 1 June 2020.
  12. Boland, Douglas J.; Brooker, Ian; McDonald, Maurice W. (2006). Forest trees of Australia (5th ed.). Collingwood, Victoria: CSIRO Pub. p. 520. ISBN   0643069690.
  13. "Eucalyptus marginata". APNI. Retrieved 26 September 2016.
  14. 1 2 Smith, James Edward (1802). "Botanical characters of four New-Holland plants, of the natural order of Myrti". Transactions of the Linnean Society of London. 6: 302. Retrieved 26 September 2016.
  15. Brown, Roland Wilbur (1956). The Composition of Scientific Words. Washington, D.C.: Smithsonian Institution Press. p. 157.
  16. Brooker, Ian (2012). Eucalyptus: An illustrated guide to identification. Chatswood, N.S.W.: Reed New Holland. p. 214. ISBN   978-1-921517-22-8.
  17. Barrett, Russell (2016). Perth Plants. Clayton South, VIC: CSIRO Publishing. p. 124. ISBN   978-1-4863-0602-2.
  18. Powell, Robert James and Emberson, Jane (1978).An old look at trees : vegetation of south-western Australia in old photographs Perth : Campaign to Save Native Forests (W.A.). ISBN   0-9597449-3-2 – has photographs of significant large old jarrah trees from the Swan Coastal Plain in the late 19th and early 20th centuries
  19. "Jarrah Timber. (Eucalyptus marginata, Sm.)". Bulletin of Miscellaneous Information (Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew). 1890 (45): 188–190. 1 January 1890. doi:10.2307/4118419. JSTOR   4118419.
  20. Relix & Fiona Bush Heritage and Archaeology. "WUNDOWIE GARDEN TOWN CONSERVATION PLAN" (PDF). Wundowie Progress Association.
  21. Murphy, Edwin G. "Comeanavajarrah". The Sunday Times (Western Australia). Retrieved 20 April 2018.
  22. Willian, Ronald S. (1 March 2014). "eastern baltic". The Gold Rush. LXXI (Cincinnati): 38. Retrieved 12 May 2014.
  23. Barrett, Russell (2016). Perth Plants. Clayton South, VIC: CSIRO Publishing. p. 4. ISBN   978-1-4863-0602-2.

Further reading