#ThreatenedSpecies of the Week: Eucalyptus lateritica (Laterite Mallee)

Eucalyptus lateritica (Laterite Mallee) is listed as Vulnerbale under the Commonwealth Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999 (EPBC Act) and Declared Rare Flora under the Wildlife Conservation Act 1950.

The main potential threats to Eucalyptus lateritica include disease, fire, insects, grazing, weeds and mining (coal). Eucalyptus lateritica is “presumed not susceptible” to dieback caused by Phytophthora cinnamomi; however this has not been confirmed. This species should be protected from frequent fire until the impact of fire on the species has been determined.

Eucalyptus lateritica is an erect, lignotuberous mallee up to 3 m tall with rough greybrown bark at the base. Juvenile leaves are to 180 mm long, 35 mm wide, lanceolate, held horizontally and slightly glossy. Adult leaves are also slightly glossy, thin, to 100 mm long, 15 mm wide, sparsely veined, green to dark green with many small discrete glands. Each inflorescence has up to 11 club-shaped buds that are 10 mm long and 2 mm wide, with a slightly rough surface. Flowers are white, and appear from April to October. Fruit are cupshaped, to 15 mm long, 15 mm wide, with a thick rim and ring-like disc. Seeds are brown, lustrous, 5 mm long, 3 mm wide, narrowly pyramidal in shape, with lateral wings.

Eucalyptus lateritica is endemic to Western Australia, where it is known from 13 small (generally less than 20 individuals), isolated populations occurring over a range of approximately 30 km in the Gairdner Range, Mount Lesueur, and the Coomallo Hill area. The largest populations are on nonreserved private farmland.

This species inhabits white or grey sandy soils of lateritic, gravelly slopes and breakaways in upland regions. Laterite Mallee occurs in mallee heath that includes Eucalyptus accedens, E. drummondii, E. gardneri, E. gittinsii, E. marginata, E. suberea, Banksia lanata, B. micrantha, Hakea trifurcata, Calothamnus quadrifidus, and Dryandra spp…

 

Information Source: Government of Australia, Department of Environment and Department of Parks and Wildlife Western Australia

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