1. Family: Myrtaceae Juss.
    1. Genus: Eucalyptus L'Hér.
      1. Eucalyptus sweedmaniana Hopper & McQuoid

        To many British gardeners the Eucalyptus is a fast-growing monster, casting shade and debris… usually in the neighbour’s garden. In Australia, however, the 900+ species of eucalypts are integral to the landscape and culture and come in all shapes and sizes.

    [KSP]

    Kew Species Profiles

    General Description
    Sweedman's mallee is a knee-high rare eucalypt of horticultural merit recently discovered on the burnt coastal slopes of the Mount Arid granite inselberg in SW Australia.

    To many British gardeners the Eucalyptus is a fast-growing monster, casting shade and debris… usually in the neighbour’s garden. In Australia, however, the 900+ species of eucalypts are integral to the landscape and culture and come in all shapes and sizes.

    Eucalyptus sweedmaniana is a dwarf in comparison to most species, forming a low-growing mallee (shrub) around one metre high. It survives the bush fires that are common in the area by dying back to a woody underground rootstock, known as a lignotuber, from which it can re-sprout later.

    The species was discovered in southwest Australia in 2006 by the former Director of Kew, Professor Stephen Hopper, and his colleague Luke Sweedman, Curator of the Western Australian Seed Technology Centre, after whom the species is named.

    Species Profile

    Geography and distribution

    Confined to the lower coastal slopes of the Mount Arid granitic massif, which projects into the Southern Ocean as a prominent peninsula east of Esperance, southwest Western Australia.

    Description

    Eucalyptus sweedmanianais a sprawling to prostrate mallee (shrub) up to 1 m high and 5 m wide. The root crown has a starchy swelling known as a lignotuber, and this allows the plant to survive fire and to re-sprout when conditions are favourable again. The bark is silver-grey, smooth and shiny when fresh.

    Mature leaves are green, glossy, broad-lanceolate, robust and angular and average 20 cm in length and 5.3 cm in width, with prominent venation and scattered intersectional oil glands.

    The inflorescences are axillary and unbranched, comprising shortly-winged and down-curved flowering stems bearing single flowers. Flower stalks are absent. The buds are red, pendulous and square in cross section, cuboid to shortly oblong, tapering towards the base, very slightly ribbed and very prominently winged. The stamens are 8 to 10 mm long and pink with a broadly pyramidal, red operculum (a cap that protects the stamens in the bud). Staminodes (sterile stamens) are present.

    The fruits average 3.6 cm long and 3.4 cm wide, are square in cross-section, cuboid to shortly oblong and very prominently winged. There are four enclosed valves. Seeds are dark grey, 4 to 5 mm x 3 to 4 mm x 1.5 mm, and flanged.

    Threats and conservation

    The single known population of Eucalyptus sweedmaniana is in Cape Arid National Park and is therefore not currently under threat from loss of habitat. However, inappropriate fire management regimes involving frequent autumn burns may threaten survival of the population. Some mallees in New South Wales successfully re-sprout after summer fires but have shown up to 90% mortality after annual autumn burns.

    Millennium Seed Bank: Seed storage

    Kew's Millennium Seed Bank Partnership aims to save plant life world wide, focusing on plants under threat and those of most use in the future. Seeds are dried, packaged and stored at a sub-zero temperature in our seed bank vault.

    Description of seeds: Dark grey, 4-5 mm x 3-4 mm x 1.5 mm, flanged.Number of seed collections stored in the Millennium Seed Bank: One collection of 963 seeds from Mount Arid, Western Australia.

    Cultivation

    Eucalyptus sweedmaniana is established in Kings Park and Botanic Garden, Perth, Western Australia as an ornamental. Once seeds are available from these recently planted stocks, the species will be available more widely for horticultural use.

    Sweedman's mallee at Kew

    An isotype (preserved reference specimen) is located in Kew’s Herbarium (one of the behind-the-scenes areas of Kew), where it is made available to researchers by appointment.

    The discovery of Sweedman's mallee

    Eucalyptus sweedmaniana was discovered in 2006 on the burnt coastal slopes of the Mount Arid granite inselberg in SW Australia. The then-Director of Kew, Professor Stephen Hopper, and Luke Sweedman, the Curator of the Western Australian Seed Technology Centre in Kings Park and Botanic Garden, Perth, were exploring this remote area in search of previously unrecorded species of flowering plants, especially those that appear briefly only after summer wildfire.

    The new eucalypt is sister to the widely planted ornamental four-winged mallee ( Eucalyptus tetraptera), sharing with it large often red-pink flowers and fruits, and large long-lived leaves.

    Professor Hopper and colleagues have named more than 100 new eucalypts from the Southwest Australian Floristic Region over the past three decades, ranging from tall forest trees to knee-high shrubs like E. sweedmaniana.

    Distribution
    Australia
    Ecology
    Coastal heath on calcareous and acidic sands.
    Conservation
    Using IUCN criteria the species would be categorised as ‘Data Deficient’. More detailed information below.
    Hazards

    None.

    Images

    Distribution

    Found In:

    Western Australia

    Common Names

    English
    Sweedman's mallee

    Eucalyptus sweedmaniana Hopper & McQuoid appears in other Kew resources:

    First published in Austral. Syst. Bot. 22: 185 (2009)

    Accepted in:

    • [1] Govaerts, R.H.A. (2011) World checklist of selected plant families published update . Facilitated by the Trustees of the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew.

    Literature

    • [2] Hopper, S.D. & McQuoid, N.K. (2009). Two new rare species and a new hybrid in Eucalyptus series Tetrapterae (Myrtaceae) from southern coastal Western Australia. Australian Systematic Botany 22: 180-192.

    Sources

    International Plant Names Index
    The International Plant Names Index (2016). Published on the Internet http://www.ipni.org
    [A] © Copyright 2016 International Plant Names Index. https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0

    Kew Species Profiles
    Kew Species Profiles
    [B] http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-sa/3.0
    [C]

    World Checklist of Selected Plant Families
    World Checklist of Selected Plant Families(2016). Published on the Internet http://apps.kew.org/wcsp/
    [D] See http://kew.org/about-kew/website-information/legal-notices/index.htm You may use data on these Terms and Conditions and on further condition that: The data is not used for commercial purposes; You may copy and retain data solely for scholarly, educational or research purposes; You may not publish our data, except for small extracts provided for illustrative purposes and duly acknowledged; You acknowledge the source of the data by the words "With the permission of the Trustees of the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew" in a position which is reasonably prominent in view of your use of the data; Any other use of data or any other content from this website may only be made with our prior written agreement. http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-sa/3.0
    [E] © Copyright 2016 International Plant Names Index and World Checkist of Selected Plant Families. https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0