Eucalyptus robusta (swamp mahogany)
- Summary of Invasiveness
- Taxonomic Tree
- Notes on Taxonomy and Nomenclature
- Plant Type
- Distribution Table
- History of Introduction and Spread
- Risk of Introduction
- Habitat List
- Biology and Ecology
- Latitude/Altitude Ranges
- Air Temperature
- Rainfall Regime
- Soil Tolerances
- Notes on Natural Enemies
- Means of Movement and Dispersal
- Pathway Causes
- Pathway Vectors
- Impact Summary
- Environmental Impact
- Threatened Species
- Risk and Impact Factors
- Uses List
- Wood Products
- Links to Websites
- Distribution Maps
Don't need the entire report?
Generate a print friendly version containing only the sections you need.Generate report
PicturesTop of page
IdentityTop of page
Preferred Scientific Name
- Eucalyptus robusta Sm.
Preferred Common Name
- swamp mahogany
Other Scientific Names
- Eucalyptus multiflora Poir
- Eucalyptus robusta var. bivalvis Blakely
- Eucalyptus robusta var. rostrata (Cav.) Pers.
- Eucalyptus robustus
- Eucalyptus rostrata Cav.
International Common Names
- English: robust eucalyptus; swamp stringybark; white mahogany
- Spanish: alcanfor; caoba de alcanfor; caoba de pantano; eucalipto; eucalipto de alcanfor
- French: eucalyptus robuste
Local Common Names
- Australia: swamp messmate
- Brazil: eucalipto; eucalipto-do-brejo
- Cuba: caoba de los pantanos
- Italy: eucalipto robusto
- USA/Hawaii: robusta
- EUCRO (Eucalyptus robusta)
- swamp mahogany
Summary of InvasivenessTop of page
E. robusta is one of the Eucalyptus species most widely planted around the world. It is often used as a timber tree, shade tree, ornamental tree, in shelter belts as a windbreak tree and in water catchment rehabilitation. Because this species has a large number of economically important uses, it has been actively introduced in tropical and subtropical countries since the 1890s, resulting in the establishment of large Eucalyptus plantations. These monospecific plantations have resulted in the conversion of open ecosystems into forest ecosystems and in the loss of native biodiversity by shading, soil exposure and erosion, allelopathic activity and important modifications in water infiltration and nutrient regimes (Sax, 2002; Orwa et al., 2009; I3N-Brazil, 2014). Currently E. robusta is listed as invasive in Brazil, Hawaii, Puerto Rico and islands in the Pacific Ocean (see distribution table for details).
Taxonomic TreeTop of page
- Domain: Eukaryota
- Kingdom: Plantae
- Phylum: Spermatophyta
- Subphylum: Angiospermae
- Class: Dicotyledonae
- Order: Myrtales
- Family: Myrtaceae
- Genus: Eucalyptus
- Species: Eucalyptus robusta
Notes on Taxonomy and NomenclatureTop of page
There are presently 789 recognized species of eucalypt, together with a further 123 subspecies or varieties, giving a total of 912 eucalypt taxa (Wilcox, 1997). Only five species occur exclusively outside of Australia.
E. robusta belongs broadly to the eastern blue gums, subseries Saligninae, series Salignae, section Transversaria, subgenus Symphyomyrtus of the informal classification of Pryor and Johnson (1971). The only other consistently rough-barked species in this group is E. botryoides, which prefers similar coastal but less wet habitats (Boland et al., 1984). E. robusta is also close to E. pellita and E. resinifera, particularly in the bark characters, but the distribution of the latter two species is more widespread, occurring at higher altitude and well-drained sites. E. robusta is readily distinguished from its close relatives through characteristics of the bark, adult leaves, floral buds and fruits. The fruits have valves that are usually joined across the orifice, in comparison other species which have free valves.
Griffin et al. (1988) list several examples of natural and manipulated hybrids involving E. robusta. It often hybridises with forest red gum (E. tereticornis), the resulting plants having been given the name E. patentinervis.
The common name of swamp mahogany comes from its preferred habitat of swamps, and its timber's likeness to that of West Indies mahogany (Swietenia mahagoni).
DescriptionTop of page
E. robusta is a medium to large tree with a dense crown and long, spreading branches when grown in open ground. It regularly attains heights of 20-30 m, with a d.b.h. of up to 1 m (Boland et al., 1984). The trunk is usually straight and extends to about one half the height of the tree, or to two thirds of the tree height in dense stands on favourable sites. The bark is rough and persistent to the small branches, thick, held in coarse, soft, spongy, elongated slabs with deep longitudinal furrows, grey or reddish grey-brown (Brooker and Kleinig, 1994). Trees growing on wet sites in open stands often form both small buttresses and aerial roots in major branch crotches (Keating and Bolza, 1982). Trunks may become encased by aerial roots, some reaching 20 cm in diameter, under wet tropical conditions such as those that prevail in parts of Hawaii (Jacobs, 1981; Durst, 1988).
Botanical descriptions of this species are available (Brooker and Kleinig, 1983; 1994; Chippendale, 1988; Hill, 1991). More general accounts including illustrations are provided by Boland et al. (1984), and Holliday and Watton (1989).
The juvenile leaves are petiolate, ovate, up to 19 × 8 cm, strongly discolorous, green, opposite for several pairs, then alternate. Adult leaves are petiolate, leathery, discolorous, glossy and dark green above, pale green below, broad-lanceolate, up to 17 × 4.5 cm.
Inflorescences, flowers and fruits
The inflorescence is axillary, 9-15 flowered, the peduncles are strongly flattened, up to 3 cm in length; buds with prominent stalks (pedicels) to 0.9 cm in length, rarely sessile, to 2.4 × 0.8 cm, scar present, operculum long, beaked; flowers white. The fruit is a woody capsule, with prominent stalk, cylindrical, 1.8 × 1.1 cm; valves 3 or 4, usually joined across the orifice, to rim level or slightly exserted. Seed brown.
Plant TypeTop of page Perennial
DistributionTop of page
E. robusta occurs naturally in Australia, within a narrow coastal strip from southern New South Wales (near Nowra) to coastal south-eastern Queensland (north-west of Bundaberg). It also grows on the offshore islands of North Stradbroke, Moreton and Fraser in south-east Queensland. A disjunct population occurs just north of Yeppoon in coastal, central Queensland.
E. robusta is one of the most widely planted Eucalyptus species, and it has been introduced into many tropical, subtropical, and warm-temperate areas, including many countries in Asia, Europe, Africa, America and the West Indies (see distribution table for details).
Distribution TableTop of page
The distribution in this summary table is based on all the information available. When several references are cited, they may give conflicting information on the status. Further details may be available for individual references in the Distribution Table Details section which can be selected by going to Generate Report.Last updated: 10 Jan 2020
|Continent/Country/Region||Distribution||Last Reported||Origin||First Reported||Invasive||Planted||Reference||Notes|
|Angola||Present||Planted||CABI (Undated b)|
|Botswana||Present||Planted||CABI (Undated b)|
|Burundi||Present||Planted||CABI (Undated b)|
|Cameroon||Present||Introduced||PROTA (2014); CABI (Undated)||Cultivated|
|Comoros||Present||Introduced||Orwa et al. (2009); CABI (Undated)||Cultivated|
|Congo, Democratic Republic of the||Present||Introduced||Orwa et al. (2009); CABI (Undated)||Cultivated|
|Congo, Republic of the||Present||Introduced||PROTA (2014); CABI (Undated)||Cultivated|
|Ethiopia||Present||Introduced||PROTA (2014); CABI (Undated)||Cultivated|
|Madagascar||Present||Introduced||PROTA (2014); CABI (Undated)||Cultivated|
|Malawi||Present||Introduced||PROTA (2014); CABI (Undated)||Cultivated|
|Mauritius||Present||Planted||CABI (Undated b)|
|Morocco||Present||Introduced||Govaerts (2014); CABI (Undated)||Cultivated|
|Mozambique||Present||Introduced||PROTA (2014); CABI (Undated)||Cultivated|
|Nigeria||Present||Planted||CABI (Undated b)|
|Rwanda||Present||Introduced||Govaerts (2014); CABI (Undated)||Cultivated|
|South Africa||Present||Planted||CABI (Undated b)|
|Tanzania||Present||Introduced||Govaerts (2014); CABI (Undated)||Cultivated|
|-Zanzibar Island||Present||Introduced||Orwa et al. (2009)||Cultivated|
|Uganda||Present||Introduced||Govaerts (2014); CABI (Undated)||Cultivated|
|Zambia||Present||Introduced||PROTA (2014); CABI (Undated)||Cultivated|
|Zimbabwe||Present||Introduced||PROTA (2014); CABI (Undated)||Cultivated|
|China||Present||Planted||CABI (Undated b)|
|-Anhui||Present||Introduced||Flora of China Editorial Committee (2014)||Cultivated|
|-Fujian||Present||Introduced||Flora of China Editorial Committee (2014)||Cultivated|
|-Guangdong||Present||Introduced||Flora of China Editorial Committee (2014); CABI (Undated)||Cultivated|
|-Guangxi||Present||Introduced||Flora of China Editorial Committee (2014); CABI (Undated)||Cultivated|
|-Hainan||Present||Introduced||Flora of China Editorial Committee (2014); CABI (Undated)||Cultivated|
|-Hunan||Present||Introduced||Flora of China Editorial Committee (2014)||Cultivated|
|-Jiangxi||Present||Introduced||Flora of China Editorial Committee (2014)||Cultivated|
|-Sichuan||Present||Introduced||Flora of China Editorial Committee (2014); CABI (Undated)||Cultivated|
|-Yunnan||Present||Introduced||Flora of China Editorial Committee (2014)||Cultivated|
|-Zhejiang||Present||Introduced||Flora of China Editorial Committee (2014)||Cultivated|
|Hong Kong||Present||Planted||CABI (Undated b)|
|India||Present||Planted||CABI (Undated b)|
|-Andaman and Nicobar Islands||Present||Introduced||Govaerts (2014)||Cultivated|
|Indonesia||Present||Planted||CABI (Undated b)|
|Israel||Present||Planted||CABI (Undated b)|
|Malaysia||Present||Planted||CABI (Undated b)|
|-Peninsular Malaysia||Present||Introduced||Orwa et al. (2009)||Cultivated|
|Philippines||Present||Introduced||Orwa et al. (2009); CABI (Undated)||Cultivated|
|Singapore||Present||Introduced||Chong et al. (2009)||Cultivated|
|Sri Lanka||Present||Planted||Orwa et al. (2009)|
|Taiwan||Present||Introduced||Orwa et al. (2009); CABI (Undated)||Cultivated|
|Turkey||Present||Planted||CABI (Undated b)|
|Vietnam||Present||Planted||CABI (Undated b)|
|Cyprus||Present||Planted||CABI (Undated b)|
|Italy||Present||CABI (Undated a)||Present based on regional distribution.|
|Portugal||Present||Introduced||Govaerts (2014); CABI (Undated)||Cultivated|
|Spain||Present||Planted||CABI (Undated b)|
|Costa Rica||Present||Introduced||Govaerts (2014); CABI (Undated)||Cultivated|
|El Salvador||Present||Introduced||Govaerts (2014)||Cultivated|
|Honduras||Present||Introduced||Govaerts (2014); CABI (Undated)||Cultivated|
|Mexico||Present||Introduced||Orwa et al. (2009)||Cultivated|
|Puerto Rico||Present||Introduced||Invasive||Acevedo-Rodríguez and Strong (2012); CABI (Undated)|
|United States||Present||CABI (Undated a)||Present based on regional distribution.|
|-California||Present||Planted||CABI (Undated b)|
|-Florida||Present||Introduced||Govaerts (2014); CABI (Undated)||Cultivated|
|-Hawaii||Present||Introduced||Invasive||Wagner et al. (1999); CABI (Undated)|
|Australia||Present||CABI (Undated a)||Present based on regional distribution.|
|-New South Wales||Present||Native||USDA-ARS (2014); CABI (Undated)|
|-Northern Territory||Present||Planted||CABI (Undated b)|
|-Queensland||Present||Native||USDA-ARS (2014); CABI (Undated)|
|-Victoria||Present||Planted||CABI (Undated b)|
|Federated States of Micronesia||Present||Introduced||PIER (2014)||Cultivated|
|Fiji||Present||Planted||CABI (Undated b)|
|French Polynesia||Present||Introduced||PIER (2014)||Cultivated|
|New Caledonia||Present||Introduced||PIER (2014)||Cultivated|
|Papua New Guinea||Present||Planted||CABI (Undated b)|
|Argentina||Present||Introduced||Orwa et al. (2009); CABI (Undated)||Cultivated|
|Brazil||Present||Planted||CABI (Undated b)|
|-Mato Grosso do Sul||Present||Introduced||Invasive||I3N-Brasil (2014)||Cultivated and naturalized|
|-Minas Gerais||Present||Introduced||Invasive||I3N-Brasil (2014); CABI (Undated)||Cultivated and naturalized|
|-Para||Present||Planted||CABI (Undated b)|
|-Parana||Present||Introduced||Invasive||I3N-Brasil (2014)||Cultivated and naturalized|
|-Sao Paulo||Present||Introduced||Invasive||I3N-Brasil (2014); CABI (Undated)||Cultivated and naturalized|
|Chile||Present||Introduced||Orwa et al. (2009); CABI (Undated)||Cultivated|
|Colombia||Present||Introduced||Orwa et al. (2009)||Cultivated|
|Peru||Present||Planted||CABI (Undated b)|
History of Introduction and SpreadTop of page
E. robusta is a very adaptable species, and has been established successfully over a remarkable range of environments from equatorial regions to an approximate latitude 35ºS (Penfold and Willis, 1961; Streets, 1962; Pryor, 1976; Fenton et al., 1977; Poynton, 1979; Jacobs, 1981; Turnbull and Pryor, 1984; Durst, 1988). Pryor (1976) lists E. robusta as one of the eucalypt species most commonly planted outside Australia. Since 1890, significant areas of E. robusta have been planted in Madagascar, Mozambique, Papua New Guinea, Sri Lanka and Hawaii (Jacobs, 1981). By the 1990s, about 1.8 million ha of Eucalyptus species were planted in Africa, and in Madagascar about 151,000 ha of E. robusta were established (PROTA, 2014).
This species was also introduced to Florida around 1880, Hawaii around 1885, and Puerto Rico around 1915. Between 1930 and 1960 about 2.3 million trees were planted in Hawaii and by 1960 more than 4650 ha (11,500 acres) of plantations were established in Hawaii (Little and Skolmen, 2003). In 1995 it was estimated that Eucalyptus plantations amounted about 14.6 million ha worldwide (PROTA, 2014).
Risk of IntroductionTop of page
The risk of introduction of E. robusta is moderate to high. It is one of the most widely cultivated Eucalyptus species in tropical and subtropical countries, mainly for timber and pulpwood production. Seeds can be easily dispersed by wind and secondarily by water and human activities (Orwa et al., 2009). Therefore, the probability of this species colonizing new habitats or being intentionally introduced into new habitats remains high.
HabitatTop of page
E. robusta occurs mainly in open-forest, where it is restricted to swamps, edges of saltwater estuaries and lagoons, or rarely on the lower slopes of valleys (Fenton et al., 1977; Boland et al., 1984). It is highly tolerant to seasonal waterlogging. Soils are typically heavy clays, but also light sandy clays (Marcar et al., 1995). On the offshore islands of south-east Queensland, such as Fraser Island, it is found on almost pure sands (Boland et al., 1984).
Habitat ListTop of page
|Terrestrial – Managed||Managed forests, plantations and orchards||Principal habitat||Natural|
|Managed forests, plantations and orchards||Principal habitat||Productive/non-natural|
|Disturbed areas||Present, no further details||Harmful (pest or invasive)|
|Disturbed areas||Present, no further details||Natural|
|Disturbed areas||Present, no further details||Productive/non-natural|
|Rail / roadsides||Present, no further details||Harmful (pest or invasive)|
|Rail / roadsides||Present, no further details||Natural|
|Rail / roadsides||Present, no further details||Productive/non-natural|
|Urban / peri-urban areas||Present, no further details||Harmful (pest or invasive)|
|Urban / peri-urban areas||Present, no further details||Natural|
|Urban / peri-urban areas||Present, no further details||Productive/non-natural|
|Terrestrial ‑ Natural / Semi-natural||Natural forests||Present, no further details||Harmful (pest or invasive)|
|Natural forests||Present, no further details||Natural|
|Natural forests||Present, no further details||Productive/non-natural|
|Riverbanks||Present, no further details||Harmful (pest or invasive)|
|Riverbanks||Present, no further details||Natural|
|Riverbanks||Present, no further details||Productive/non-natural|
|Wetlands||Present, no further details||Harmful (pest or invasive)|
|Wetlands||Present, no further details||Natural|
|Wetlands||Present, no further details||Productive/non-natural|
|Coastal areas||Present, no further details||Harmful (pest or invasive)|
|Coastal areas||Present, no further details||Natural|
|Coastal areas||Present, no further details||Productive/non-natural|
|Coastal dunes||Present, no further details||Harmful (pest or invasive)|
|Coastal dunes||Present, no further details||Natural|
|Coastal dunes||Present, no further details||Productive/non-natural|
Biology and EcologyTop of page
In southern Florida, E. robusta was a major component of a genetic improvement program for pulpwood production which began in the 1960s (Geary et al., 1983). After two cycles of improvement involving mass selection in the first cycle, and between-family plus within-family selection in the second cycle, E. robusta demonstrated sizeable gains for height (27%), diameter (33%), volume (63%), cold hardiness (19%), branch size and angle (14%) and stem straightness (9%) (Dvorak, 1981; Dvorak et al., 1981). In Hawaii, Aradhya and Phillips (1993) studied the variation within the local land race of E. robusta using allozyme analysis. They concluded that the high levels of polymorphism and heterozygosity observed were an indication that the local land race represents a suitable base for further genetic improvement of the species.
The Florida program has produced and assessed the potential of E. grandis × E. robusta hybrids. Field trials indicate that this hybrid significantly outperforms both parent species in height, volume, cold tolerance, and coppicing ability, but the hybrids tend to be slightly less straight than E. grandis. However, hybrid breakdown (e.g. double recessive, or other unwanted phenotypes) occurs rapidly in generations after the F1 stage (Geary et al., 1983).
Eucalyptus species have hermaphrodite, protandrous flowers and are primarily pollinated by insects and birds (Griffin, 1989). They reproduce by a mixed mating system, with both outcrossing and selfing occurring (Moran, 1992).
Physiology and Phenology
E. robusta is a medium to large tree and is capable of rapid early growth in suitable environments. Similar to other eucalypts, E. robusta does not develop resting buds and grows whenever conditions are favourable (Jacobs, 1955). It has been reported to flower after 2 years in Kenya (Jacobs, 1981), and after 5 years in California (King and Krugman, 1980). The flowering period is May-July in Australia (Brooker and Kleinig, 1994), September-November in Florida (Geary et al., 1983), January-March in California (King and Krugman, 1980) or at any time of the year in tropical areas such as Hawaii and Puerto Rico (Little and Wadsworth, 1964). In Australia mature seed may be collected during the summer months from December-February (Boland et al., 1980).
E. robusta forms pure stands or may be associated with other eucalypts such as E. resinifera, E. gummifera (syn. Corymbia gummifera), E. intermedia (syn. Corymbia intermedia) and sometimes E. tereticornis. Other trees found growing with E. robusta include various species of Melaleuca and Casuarina glauca. These tend to replace E. robusta on sites with very high water tables.
This species has a broad environmental amplitude, and is planted widely outside of Australia in equatorial to cool temperate regions. E. robusta is best known as a plantation species in the Madagascar highlands, but also in the USA (Hawaii, Florida, California) and Central America (Puerto Rico). E. robusta may tolerate adverse conditions and is especially useful on sites subject to prolonged flooding. It is moderately salt-tolerant.
Between 23º N and 35º S
Coastal plant communities
0 - 1600 m
E. rotunda occurs naturally in the warm humid climate zone, ranging from regions with rare winter frosts and a summer maximum, to a uniform distribution of rainfall throughout the year (Boland et al., 1984). It grows well on sites in the moist tropics up to an elevation of 1600 m, and with a mean annual temperature of about 23°C. It inhabits areas with a rainfall in excess of 1500 mm, which is distributed fairly uniformly throughout the year. However, this species has a wide ranging physiological adaptability, and may establish successfully on sites of much lower rainfall (min. value 700 mm). Mature trees of E. robusta are remarkably tolerant of frost, especially given that frosts are uncommon in the species' natural range. For example, six-year-old trees near San Francisco, USA, survived temperatures as low as -9°C and showed signs of only temporary damage to foliage (King and Krugman, 1980). Durst (1988) gives the lower limit of tolerance as -11°C. However, seedlings are unable to tolerate frost, and hard frosts are harmful to young saplings less than 2 m tall.
Latitude/Altitude RangesTop of page
|Latitude North (°N)||Latitude South (°S)||Altitude Lower (m)||Altitude Upper (m)|
Air TemperatureTop of page
|Parameter||Lower limit||Upper limit|
|Absolute minimum temperature (ºC)||-11||-9|
|Mean annual temperature (ºC)||16||23|
|Mean maximum temperature of hottest month (ºC)||22||32|
|Mean minimum temperature of coldest month (ºC)||0||9|
RainfallTop of page
|Parameter||Lower limit||Upper limit||Description|
|Dry season duration||0||4||number of consecutive months with <40 mm rainfall|
|Mean annual rainfall||700||6350||mm; lower/upper limits|
Rainfall RegimeTop of page Bimodal
Soil TolerancesTop of page
- seasonally waterlogged
- very acid
Special soil tolerances
Notes on Natural EnemiesTop of page
Leaf spots on E. robusta in Hawaii, Brazil, Zimbabwe and Mauritius have been attributed to the fungal pathogens Harknessia hawaiiensis, H. insueta, Colletotrichum gloeosporioides [Glomerella cingulata] and Cylindrocladium ovatum sp. novus (see review in Fenton et al., 1977; El-Gholl et al., 1993). In Sri Lanka and India, a well-known pathogen of tea Cercosporella theae [Calonectria theae] causes leaf spots and sunken purple cankers on young stems of E. robusta, while in Australia leaf spots on this species have been attributed to Readeriella mirabilis (see review in Fenton et al., 1977). In the past, the fungus Cylindrocladium scoparium [Calonectria kyotensis] has caused serious seedling losses in Florida (Durst, 1988), but is now controlled by soil sterilization and sprays. In Puerto Rico, E. robusta is susceptible to gummosis and trunk rots caused by Polyporus schweinitzii [Phaeolus schweinitzii] and Fomes spp. (Durst, 1988). Another fungus, Botryosphaeria ribis, causes cankers on the trunk (Jacobs, 1981). Susceptibility of E. robusta to root rot has also been reported (see review in Fenton et al., 1977). In Sao Paulo, Brazil, E. robusta has been attacked by the bacterium Phytomonas tumifaciens [Rhizobium radiobacter] (National Academy of Science, 1983).
In Australia, E. robusta is moderately to highly susceptible to insect attack (Marcar et al., 1995). The juvenile foliage is attacked by leaf-blister sawfly (Phylacteophaga froggatti) and autumn gum moth (Mnesampela privata) while adult foliage is susceptible to lerp (Cardiaspina sp.), autumn gum moth, leaf beetle (Paropsis sp. and Chrysophtharta sp.), leafblister sawfly, gumtree hoppers (Eurymela sp. and Eurymeloides sp.), scale (Eriococcus coriaceus [Acanthococcus coriaceus] and E. confusus [Acanthococcus confusus]) and Christmas beetle (Anoplognathus sp.). Older trees under stress by drought are attacked by eucalypt borers (Phoracantha sp. and Epithora dorsalis), bullseye borer (Phoracantha acanthocera, synonym Tryphocaria acanthocera) and cossid borer (Endoxyla spp.). Susceptibility of E. robusta to eucalyptus snout beetle, Gonipterus scutellatus, has caused a cessation of planting of the species in some parts of southern Africa (Fenton et al., 1977; Poynton, 1979). Young trees are susceptible to termites (National Academy of Science, 1983). The leaf-eating beetle, Maecolaspis favosa, has reportedly caused serious damage to young seedlings and coppice shoots in Florida; older trees are unaffected (Geary et al., 1983). Coleoptera borers (Brazil) and cockchafers (Vietnam) are also reported pests of E. robusta (see review in Fenton et al, 1977).
Means of Movement and DispersalTop of page
E. robusta spreads by seeds. Seed dispersal is largely by wind and may begin within 6 weeks after the capsule ripens. Seeds can be secondarily dispersed by water and human activities (Orwa et al., 2009).
Pathway CausesTop of page
|Escape from confinement or garden escape||Escaped from plantations||Yes||Yes||Orwa et al., 2009|
|Forestry||Timber plantations||Yes||Yes||Orwa et al., 2009|
|Habitat restoration and improvement||Used to stabilize dunes||Yes||Yes||Orwa et al., 2009|
|Hedges and windbreaks||Yes||Yes||Wagner et al., 1999|
|Industrial purposes||Pulpwood production||Yes||Yes||Orwa et al., 2009|
|Timber trade||Yes||Yes||Orwa et al., 2009|
Pathway VectorsTop of page
Impact SummaryTop of page
|Economic/livelihood||Positive and negative|
|Environment (generally)||Positive and negative|
|Human health||Positive and negative|
Environmental ImpactTop of page
Plantations of E. robusta have resulted in the conversion of open ecosystems into forest ecosystems. These monoculture plantations generate loss of plant diversity by shading, soil exposure, erosion, allelopathic activity and important changes in water infiltration and modifications in waterways, wetlands and swamps. Eucalyptus plantations completely outcompete native plant species by the action of allelopathic activity that inhibits the probability of germination and establishment of native plant species. Eucalyptus plantations have often replaced oak woodlands in regions such as California, Spain and Portugal. The resulting monocultures have raised concerns about loss of animal biological diversity, through loss of acorns that mammals and birds feed on, absence of hollows that in oak trees provide shelter and nesting sites for birds and small mammals and for bee colonies, as well as lack of downed trees in managed plantations (Sax, 2002; Orwa et al., 2009; I3N-Brazil, 2014).
Threatened SpeciesTop of page
|Threatened Species||Conservation Status||Where Threatened||Mechanism||References||Notes|
|Platydesma rostrata||CR (IUCN red list: Critically endangered); USA ESA listing as endangered species||Hawaii||Competition - monopolizing resources||US Fish and Wildlife Service, 2010a|
|Pritchardia hardyi (Makaleha pritchardia)||CR (IUCN red list: Critically endangered); USA ESA listing as endangered species||Hawaii||Competition - monopolizing resources||US Fish and Wildlife Service, 2010b|
|Santalum haleakalae var. lanaiense (Lanai sandalwood)||NatureServe; USA ESA listing as endangered species||Hawaii||Competition (unspecified)||US Fish and Wildlife Service, 2011|
|Stenogyne purpurea (purplefruit stenogyne)||CR (IUCN red list: Critically endangered); USA ESA listing as endangered species||Hawaii||Competition - monopolizing resources||US Fish and Wildlife Service, 2010b|
Risk and Impact FactorsTop of page Invasiveness
- Proved invasive outside its native range
- Highly adaptable to different environments
- Is a habitat generalist
- Tolerates, or benefits from, cultivation, browsing pressure, mutilation, fire etc
- Pioneering in disturbed areas
- Highly mobile locally
- Benefits from human association (i.e. it is a human commensal)
- Long lived
- Fast growing
- Has high reproductive potential
- Altered trophic level
- Damaged ecosystem services
- Ecosystem change/ habitat alteration
- Modification of fire regime
- Modification of hydrology
- Modification of nutrient regime
- Modification of successional patterns
- Reduced native biodiversity
- Soil accretion
- Threat to/ loss of endangered species
- Threat to/ loss of native species
- Competition - monopolizing resources
- Competition - shading
- Competition - smothering
- Competition (unspecified)
- Pest and disease transmission
- Rapid growth
UsesTop of page
An extensive review of the properties of the wood of E. robusta, and its utilization in several countries is provided by Fenton et al. (1977).
In summary, E. robusta provides a moderately durable hardwood with an air-dry density of 805-900 kg/m³ for wood from natural stands in Australia and 725-800 kg/m³ for plantation timber in Hawaii (Keating and Bolza, 1982). The heartwood is pale red when freshly cut, but turning orange-red or red-brown with age. The sapwood is pale brown, 40 mm wide and susceptible to attack by lyctid borers (Keating and Bolza, 1982). The logs are prone to sap-stain and pinhole borer attack, yet are moderately resistant to termite attack (Keating and Bolza, 1982; Webb et al., 1984). The heartwood is moderately durable, i.e. having an approximate life in the ground of 8-25 years. It may split and distort during seasoning and is not stable in fluctuating atmospheric conditions. This can be avoided if the timber is air-dried to less than 30% moisture content before kiln-seasoning (Keating and Bolza, 1982). It is not favoured for general building purposes because of degradation during drying (Bootle, 1983), or for steam-bending (Keating and Bolza, 1982). The wood is resistant to marine borers and can be treated with preservatives (Durst, 1988).
In Australia, it is used in general construction and for underground pilings, utility poles and fence posts. In Hawaii, the wood has been used mainly for pallets and furniture. However, the high humidity causes shrinkage and expansion which makes it unsuitable for furniture construction in most areas (Skolmen 1971, 1974). The wood of E. robusta forms excellent stakes used in irrigation systems, and for conveyor-belt slats used in the sugar industry. Truck beds, weather-boards for houses, flooring, interior trim and panelling are made from E. robusta (Skolmen, 1974; Durst, 1988).
In the USA, E. robusta is used to produce rotary cut construction grade veneer. Pulpwood is the major use of E. robusta in Florida (Durst, 1988). Pulping properties of the wood are given by Fenton et al. (1977).
E. robusta is commonly used for fuelwood in many parts of the world. This is the case in Madagascar, where extensive plantations of this species provide fuel, charcoal, transmission poles, construction timber, bridging material and flooring (Bertrand, 1992). Studies of its use in plantations as a potential source of woody biomass to generate electricity have also been conducted (King and Krugman, 1980; Schubert and Whitesell, 1985).
Bees foraging on the nectar of E. robusta flowers produce dark amber, highly aromatic honey of acceptable flavour (Clemson, 1985). The species is used for honey production in many areas where it is planted (Little, 1983; Carlowitz, 1986).
E. robusta has a dense, deep crown of dark green leaves and seasonally abundant creamy white flowers, and is suitable for shade, shelter and as an ornamental tree (Poynton, 1979; Hillis and Brown, 1984; Webb et al., 1984). This species has been planted extensively for these purposes in the USA (Hawaii, Florida and California), throughout the Caribbean and in several African countries. The tendency of older trees to shed large limbs in strong winds makes it an undesirable selection for areas affected by typhoons (Jacobs, 1981). It has been used for watershed protection, mine site reclamation and dune stabilization (Carlowitz, 1986; Langkamp, 1987; Durst, 1988).
Uses ListTop of page
- Boundary, barrier or support
- Erosion control or dune stabilization
- Shade and shelter
Human food and beverage
- Honey/honey flora
- Carved material
- Miscellaneous materials
Wood ProductsTop of page
- Short-fibre pulp
- Building poles
- Pit props
- Transmission poles
Sawn or hewn building timbers
- Carpentry/joinery (exterior/interior)
- Engineering structures
- Exterior fittings
- For heavy construction
- For light construction
- Wall panelling
- Musical instruments
ReferencesTop of page
Acevedo-Rodríguez P, Strong MT, 2012. Catalogue of the Seed Plants of the West Indies. Smithsonian Contributions to Botany, 98:1192 pp. Washington DC, USA: Smithsonian Institution. http://botany.si.edu/Antilles/WestIndies/catalog.htm
Bertrand A, 1992. The planted forest and the private forest of the Madagascar highlands. Forests, Trees and People Newsletter, No. 15-16. Uppsala, Sweden: International Rural Development Centre, University of Agricultural Sciences, 45-58.
Boland DJ, Brooker MIH, Chippendale GM, Hall N, Hyland BPM, Johnston RD, Kleinig DA, Turner JD, 1984. Forest trees of Australia. 4th ed. Melbourne, Australia:Thomas Nelson and CSIRO. xvi + 687 pp.; 77 ref.
Boxus P, 1992. Industrial application of micropropagation. [Die industrielle Nutzung der Mikrovermehrung.] Wissenschaftliche Zeitschrift der Humboldt Universitat zu Berlin.-Reihe-Mathematisch-Naturwissenschaftliche, 41(3):121-124; 8 ref.
Brooker MIH, Kleinig DA, 1994. Field Guide to Eucalypts. Vol. 3. Northern Australia. Sydney, Australia: Inkata Press.
Brundrett M, Bougher N, Dell B, Grove T, Malajczuk N, 1996. Working with mycorrhizas in forestry and agriculture. Working with mycorrhizas in forestry and agriculture., ix + 374 pp.; [ACIAR Monograph No. 32]; Many ref.
Buck MG, Imoto RH, 1982. Growth of 11 introduced tree species on selected forest sites in Hawaii. USDA Forest Service Research Paper, Pacific Southwest Forest and Range Experiment Station, No. PSW-169, 12 pp.
Chippendale GM, 1988. Eucalyptus (Myrtaceae). Flora of Australia, 19. Canberra, Australia: Australian Government Publishing Service.
Chong KY, Tan HTW, Corlett RT, 2009. A checklist of the total vascular plant flora of Singapore: native, naturalised and cultivated species., Singapore: Raffles Museum of Biodiversity Research, National University of Singapore, 273 pp.
Doran JC, Turnbull JW, 1997. Australian trees and shrubs: species for land rehabilitation and farm planting in the tropics. Australian trees and shrubs: species for land rehabilitation and farm planting in the tropics., viii + 384 pp.; [refs].
Dunn GM, Taylor DW, Nester MR, Beetson TB, 1994. Performance of twelve selected Australian tree species on a saline site in southeast Queensland. Forest Ecology and Management, 70(1-3):255-264; 33 ref.
Durst PB, 1988. Eucalyptus robusta JE. Smith. In: Burns RM, Mosquera M, eds. Useful trees of tropical North America. North American Forestry Commission Publication No. 3. Washington, DC, USA. North American Forestry Commission.
Dvorak WS, 1981. Eucalyptus robusta Sm.- a case study of an advanced generation hardwood breeding program in southern Florida. MS thesis. Raleigh, NC: North Carolina State University.
Dvorak WS, Franklin EC, Meskimen G, 1981. Breeding strategty for Eucalyptus robusta in southern Florida. In: Proceedings of the 16th Southern Forest Tree Improvement Conference, 1981 May 27-28. Blacksburg, VA, 116-122.
El-Gholl NE, Alfenas AC, Crous PW, Schubert TS, 1993. Description and pathogenicity of Cylindrocladium ovatum sp. nov. Canadian Journal of Botany, 71: 466-470.
Fenton R, Roper RE, Watt GR, 1977. Lowland tropical hardwoods. An annotated bibliography of selected species with plantation potential. Wellington, New Zealand: External Aid Division, Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
Flora of China Editorial Committee, 2014. Flora of China. St. Louis, Missouri and Cambridge, Massachusetts, USA: Missouri Botanical Garden and Harvard University Herbaria. http://www.efloras.org/flora_page.aspx?flora_id=2
Geary TF, Meskimen GF, Franklin EC, 1983. Growing eucalypts in Florida for industrial wood production. General Technical Report, Southeastern Forest Experiment Station, USDA Forest Service, No. SE-23, iii + 43 pp.; 22 pl.; 40 ref.
Govaerts R, 2014. World Checklist of Myrtaceae. Richmond, UK: Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew. http://apps.kew.org/wcsp/
Griffin AR, 1989. Strategies for the genetic improvement of yield in Eucalyptus. In: Pereira JS, Landsberg JJ, eds. Biomass production by fast-growing trees. Dordrecht, Germany: Kluwer, 247-265.
Hernández-Hernández RM, Ramírez E, Castro I, Cano S, 2008. Changes in quality indicators of hillside soils reforested with pines (Pinus caribaea) and eucalyptus (Eucalyptus robusta). Agrociencia (Montecillo), 42(3):253-266. http://www.colpos.mx/agrocien/agrociencia.htm
Hill KD, 1991. Eucalyptus. In: Harden GJ, ed. Flora of New South Wales Vol. 2. Sydney: New South Wales University Press, 76-142.
Hillis WE, Brown AG, 1984. Eucalypts for wood production. Melbourne, Australia: Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation.
Holliday I, Watton G, 1989. A gardener's guide to eucalypts. Australia: Hamlyn.
I3N-Brasil, 2014. Base de dados nacional de espécies exóticas invasora (National database of exotic invasive species). Florianópolis - SC, Brazil: I3N Brasil, Instituto Hórus de Desenvolvimento e Conservação Ambiental. http://i3n.institutohorus.org.br
Keating WG, Bolza E, 1982. Characteristics, properties and uses of timbers. Volume 1. South-east Asia, Northern Australia and the Pacific. xxi + 362 pp.; 24 pl. (col.); 146 ref. Melbourne, Australia: Inkata Press.
King JP, Krugman SL, 1980. Tests of 36 Eucalyptus species in northern California. Research Paper, Pacific Southwest Forest and Range Experiment Station, USDA Forest Service, No. PSW-152, ii + 6 pp.; 1 pl.; 5 ref.
Langkamp PJ, 1987. Germination of Australian native plant seed. Melbourne, Australia: Inkata Press.
Little EL Jr, Wadsworth FH, 1964. Common trees of Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands. Agricultural Handbook, No. 249. Washington DC, US; Department of Agriculture.
Little Jr EL, Skolmen RG, 2003. Agriculture Handbook. Hawaii, USA: College of Tropical Agriculture and Human Resources, University of Hawaii.
Marcar NE, 1993. Waterlogging modifies growth, water use and ion concentrations in seedlings of salt-treated Eucalyptus camaldulensis, E. tereticornis, E. robusta and E. globulus. Australian Journal of Plant Physiology, 20(1):1-13; 27 ref.
Moran GF, 1992. Patterns of genetic diversity in Australian tree species. New Forests, 6:49-66.
Orwa C, Mutua A, Kindt R, Jamnadass R, Simons A, 2009. Agroforestree Database: a tree reference and selection guide version 4.0. World Agroforestry Centre. http://www.worldagroforestry.org/af/treedb/
Pickford GD, 1962. Opportunities for timber production in Hawaii. Misc. Pap. Berkeley, CA: US. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Pacific Southwest Forest and Range Experiment Station. No. 67, 1962. pp. 11. 8 refs.
PIER, 2014. Pacific Islands Ecosystems at Risk. Honolulu, USA: HEAR, University of Hawaii. http://www.hear.org/pier/index.html
Poynton RJ, 1979. Report to the Southern African Regional Commission for the Conservation and Utilization of the Soil (SARCCUS) on tree planting in southern Africa. Vol. 2. The eucalypts. Pretoria, South Africa: Department of Forestry. xvi + 882 pp.; ISBN 0-621-04763-5; 208 ref.
PROTA, 2014. PROTA4U web database. Grubben GJH, Denton OA, eds. Wageningen, Netherlands: Plant Resources of Tropical Africa. http://www.prota4u.org/search.asp
Pryor LD, 1976. Biology of eucalypts. Institute of Biology's Studies in Biology 61. London: Edward Arnold Ltd. 1976, v + 82 pp.; B.
Ramamonjisoa L, 1994. Eucalyptus robusta and E. grandis: provenance trials and tree improvement strategies in Madagascar. [Eucalyptus robusta et Eucalyptus grandis: essais de provenances et strategie d'amelioration a Madagascar.] Akon'ny Ala, No. 14, 8-18; 11 ref.
Schubert TH, Whitesell CD, 1985. Species trials for biomass plantations in Hawaii: a first appraisal. Research Paper, Pacific Southwest Forest and Range Experiment Station, USDA Forest Service, No. PSW-176, ii + 13 pp.; 13 ref.
Skolmen RG, 1971. Processing Hawaii-grown Robusta Eucalyptus from logs into furniture. 1971. pp. 15. [US Department of Commerce, Economic Development Administration, Technical Assistance Project.]. Pacific Southwest Forest and Range Experiment Station, Berkeley, Cal.
Skolmen RG, 1974. Some woods of Hawaii - properties and uses of 16 commercial species. USDA Forest Service General Technical Report, Pacific Southwest Forest and Range Experiment Station, No. PSW-8, 30 pp.
Soerianegara I, Lemmens RHMJ, eds. , 1993. Plant Resources of South-East Asia No. 5(1). Timber trees: major commercial timbers. Wageningen, Netherlands: Pudoc Scientific Publishers. Also published by PROSEA Foundation, Bogor, Indonesia. pp. 610.
Traoré N, Sidibé L, Figuérédo G, Chalchat JC, 2010. Chemical composition of five essential oils of Eucalyptus species from Mali: E. houseana F.V. Fitzg. ex Maiden, E. citriodora Hook., E. raveretiana F. Muell., E. robusta Smith and E. urophylla S.T. Blake. Journal of Essential Oil Research, 22(6):510-513. http://www.jeoronline.com/
Turnbull JW, Pryor LD, 1984. Choice of species and seed sources. In: Hillis WE, Brown AG, eds. Eucalypts for Wood Production. Sydney, Australia: CSIRO, Australia and Academic Press, 6-65.
USDA-ARS, 2014. Germplasm Resources Information Network (GRIN). Online Database. Beltsville, Maryland, USA: National Germplasm Resources Laboratory. https://npgsweb.ars-grin.gov/gringlobal/taxon/taxonomysearch.aspx
Wagner WI, Herbst DR, Sohmer SH, 1999. Manual of the Flowering Plants of Hawaii, revised edition. Honolulu, Hawaii, USA: University of Hawaii Press.
Webb DB, Wood PJ, Smith JP, Henman GS, 1984. A guide to species selection for tropical and sub-tropical plantations. Tropical Forestry Papers, No. 15. Oxford, UK: Commonwealth Forestry Institute, University of Oxford.
Wilcox MD, 1997. A Catalogue of the Eucalypts. Auckland, New Zealand: Groome Pöyry Ltd.
CABI, Undated. Compendium record. Wallingford, UK: CABI
CABI, Undated a. CABI Compendium: Status inferred from regional distribution. Wallingford, UK: CABI
CABI, Undated b. CABI Compendium: Status as determined by CABI editor. Wallingford, UK: CABI
Chong KY, Tan HTW, Corlett RT, 2009. A checklist of the total vascular plant flora of Singapore: native, naturalised and cultivated species., Singapore: Raffles Museum of Biodiversity Research, National University of Singapore. 273 pp.
Flora of China Editorial Committee, 2014. Flora of China., St. Louis, Missouri and Cambridge, Massachusetts, USA: Missouri Botanical Garden and Harvard University Herbaria. http://www.efloras.org/flora_page.aspx?flora_id=2
Govaerts R, 2014. World Checklist of Myrtaceae., Richmond, UK: Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew. http://apps.kew.org/wcsp/
I3N-Brasil, 2014. National database of exotic invasive species. (Base de dados nacional de espécies exóticas invasora)., Florianópolis - SC, Brazil: I3N Brasil, Instituto Hórus de Desenvolvimento e Conservação Ambiental. http://i3n.institutohorus.org.br
Orwa C, Mutua A, Kindt R, Jamnadass R, Simons A, 2009. Agroforestree Database: a tree reference and selection guide version 4.0. In: World Agroforestry Centre, http://www.worldagroforestry.org/af/treedb/
PIER, 2014. Pacific Islands Ecosystems at Risk., Honolulu, USA: HEAR, University of Hawaii. http://www.hear.org/pier/index.html
PROTA, 2014. PROTA4U web database., [ed. by Grubben GJH, Denton OA]. Wageningen, Netherlands: Plant Resources of Tropical Africa. http://www.prota4u.org/search.asp
USDA-ARS, 2014. Germplasm Resources Information Network (GRIN). Online Database. Beltsville, Maryland, USA: National Germplasm Resources Laboratory. https://npgsweb.ars-grin.gov/gringlobal/taxon/taxonomysimple.aspx
Wagner WI, Herbst DR, Sohmer SH, 1999. Manual of the Flowering Plants of Hawaii, revised edition., Honolulu, Hawaii, USA: University of Hawaii Press.
ContributorsTop of page
22/04/14 Updated by:
Julissa Rojas-Sandoval, Department of Botany-Smithsonian NMNH, Washington DC, USA
Pedro Acevedo-Rodríguez, Department of Botany-Smithsonian NMNH, Washington DC, USA
Distribution MapsTop of page
Unsupported Web Browser:
One or more of the features that are needed to show you the maps functionality are not available in the web browser that you are using.
Please consider upgrading your browser to the latest version or installing a new browser.
More information about modern web browsers can be found at http://browsehappy.com/