Plant of the month 06/2021: Eucalyptus chartaboma

After our wonderful outing to White Mountains National Park, it was impossible to pick “the best” among many fascinating plants we saw. Instead, our Plant of the Month is “the biggest” of our weekend discoveries.

Photo: Julia Hazel

Eucalyptus chartaboma is not widely known, although it is a Queensland endemic. Its scattered distribution in north Queensland includes the western section of White Mountains National Park which we visited on the second day of our trip. Many thanks to Peter for introducing us to this area and pointing out a number of species new to most of us.

The scientific name is derived from Greek (charte, of paper and bomos, base) and refers to thick papery bark covering the lower part of the trunk. The distinctive bark is also reflected in the tree’s common name, Queensland woollybutt.

Photo: Julia Hazel

Our visit was outside the flowering period of Eucalyptus chartaboma (Jan to April) but we were impressed by its heavy woody seed capsules. The “giant gumnuts” we found were just slightly smaller than the maximum size recorded, 75 x 65 mm.

Photo: Julia Hazel

Hopefully on a future visit we might see the brilliant orange flowers of Eucalyptus chartaboma. In anticipation, we can enjoy John’s photo below, taken in March some years ago.

Photo: John Elliott

Eucalyptus chartaboma looks very similar to some closely-related species in the Kimberley and Top End of NT. For botanical details see EUCLID Eucalypts of Australia online