Eucalyptus ovata Labill.

Swamp Gum

Nov. Holl. Pl. 2: 13 (1806) APNI

Taxonomic status:Accepted

Occurrence status:Present

Establishment means:Native

Tree to 20 m tall; bark smooth throughout, to rough and loose over most of trunk. Juvenile leaves petiolate, alternate, elliptic to ovate, to 19 cm long, 8.5 cm wide, dull, green; adult leaves petiolate, alternate, ovate to broadly lanceolate, undulate, to 9–17 cm long, 2–3.5 cm wide, concolorous, glossy, green; reticulation dense, typically lacking visible oil glands. Inflorescences axillary, unbranched; peduncles to 1.4 cm long, 7-flowered; buds pedicellate, diamond-shaped, scar present; operculum conical; stamens inflexed; anthers dorsifixed, cuneate; ovules in 4 vertical rows; flowers white. Fruit pedicellate, obconical; disc level or raised and annular; valves 3 or 4, to rim level; seed brown-black, fiattened-ellipsoid, lacunose, hilum ventral. 

Brid, CVU, DunT, EGL, EGU, GipP, Glep, Gold, GGr, HFE, HNF, HSF, MonT, OtP, OtR, Strz, VAlp, VVP, WaP, WPro, Wim.

Only relatively recently has the distinction of E. ovata from E. strzeleckii and E. bunyip (distinguished particularly the densely glandular leaves, dicolorous juveniles and glaucous new growth of adult leaves), and E. brookeriana (distinguished by the glossy green, crenulate, glandular, discolorous juvenile leaves) been recognized.

In sheltered subcoastal areas of Gippsland (e.g. Genoa) and the lower Otway Range (e.g. near Anglesea) populations of tall, slender swamp gums are found that appear to be intermediate between E. brookeriana and E. ovata. They are characterized by a rough stocking of bark for about 4 m above the base, discolorous, slightly crenulate, glandular, elliptic-ovate juvenile leaves, slightly undulate, broadly lanceolate adult leaves with few or no oil glands and buds and fruit like typical E. ovata. They grow in pure stands and in autumn have striking yellow-rusty brown newly exposed smooth bark.

3 subspecies, 2 in Victoria. Plants from coastal areas in south-western Victoria with obtuse opercula and relatively large fruits may represent a fourth, currently undescribed subspecies.

Source: Brooker, M.I.H.; Slee, A.V. (1996). Eucalyptus. In: Walsh, N.G.; Entwisle, T.J. (eds), Flora of Victoria Vol. 3, Dicotyledons Winteraceae to Myrtaceae. Inkata Press, Melbourne.
Updated by: Val Stajsic, 2019-05-07
Hero image
Distribution map
life Life
kingdom Plantae
phylum Tracheophyta
superorder Rosanae
order Myrtales
family Myrtaceae
genus Eucalyptus
Higher taxa
Subordinate taxa


Source: AVH (2014). Australia's Virtual Herbarium, Council of Heads of Australasian Herbaria, <>. Find Eucalyptus ovata in AVH ; Victorian Biodiversity Atlas, © The State of Victoria, Department of Environment and Primary Industries (published Dec. 2014) Find Eucalyptus ovata in Victorian Biodiversity Atlas
  Bioregion Occurrence status Establishment means
Wimmera present native
Glenelg Plain present native
Bridgewater present native
Victorian Volcanic Plain present native
Gippsland Plain present native
Otway Plain present native
Warrnambool Plain present native
Goldfields present native
Central Victorian Uplands present native
Greater Grampians present native
Dundas Tablelands present native
East Gippsland Lowlands present native
East Gippsland Uplands present native
Wilsons Promontory present native
Highlands-Southern Fall present native
Highlands-Northern Fall present native
Otway Ranges present native
Strzelecki Ranges present native
Monaro Tablelands present native
Highlands-Far East present native
Victorian Alps present native

State distribution

Distribution map
South Australia
New South Wales
Australian Capital Territory