Seeds of South Australia
Eucalyptus odorata (Myrtaceae)
Peppermint Box
List of species for Eucalyptus
Display more images
Click on an image to enlarge it
Seed collecting:
January to December
Herbarium regions:
Eyre Peninsula, Northern Lofty, Murray, Yorke Peninsula, Southern Lofty, Kangaroo Island, South Eastern
NRM regions:
Adelaide and Mount Lofty Ranges, Kangaroo Island, Northern and Yorke, South Australian Murray-Darling Basin, South East
IBRA regions
Kangaroo Island (KAN01)Kanmantoo
 Rare   (IUCN: RA d(ii))
Fleurieu (KAN02) 
 Near Threatened   [survey records missing; well-conserved in reserves; declining in parts of its range (urban); J Quarmby thinks VU D2]
Mount Lofty Ranges (FLB01)Flinders Lofty Block
 Near Threatened   [survey records missing; common north of Adelaide; well-conserved in reserves; declining in parts of its range (urban); J Quarmby thinks VU D2]
RSCA map:
Regional Species Conservation Assessments per IBRA subregion. Please click the thumbnail map.
AVH map:
Australian distribution map (external link)
SA Census:
Census of South Australian plants (external link)     [genus Eucalyptus]
Name derivation:
Eucalyptus from the Greek 'eu' meaning well and 'calyptos' meaning covered; alluding to the cap or lid which covers the stamens in the bud. Odorata from the Latin 'odoratus' meaning having a smell; referring to the scent of the leaves when crushed.
Found on southern Eyre Peninsula, southern Flinders Ranges, Mount Lofty Ranges, Kangaroo Island and around Keith and Bordertown, growing on sandy-loam to clay-loam soils. Also found in Victoria.
Native. Common in South Australia. Uncommon in Victoria. Peppermint Box Grassy Woodlands are unique to South Australia and is nationally listed as a critically endangered ecological community. 
Plant description:
Multi- or single-stemmed trees to 20 m high with rough, coarse, dark-grey bark on at least the lower half, smooth and brownish above, shedding in long strips. Adult leaves to 115 mm long and 20 mm wide, on stalk to 15 mm long, narrow-lanceolate, dull to glossy, dark-olive-green. Flowers in groups of 7-11 in axils of leaves. Buds to 8 mm long and 4 mm wide, bud-cap cone-shape equal in length to the base. Flowers white. Flowering between March and October.
Fruit type:
Cup-shaped to barrel-shaped fruit to 8 mm long and 7 mm wide, with a narrow rim and descending disk, valves 4 or 5 below the rim.
Seed type:
Brown ovoid seed to 1.2 mm long and 0.7 mm wide.
Embryo type:
Seed collecting:
Collect mature fruits that are dark and hard (difficult to break with a finger nail) with the valves un-open any time of year but preferably during summer.
Seed cleaning:
Leave the fruits in a breathable container in a dry room for at least a week. This allows the valves on the fruit to open and release the seeds. Separate the seeds by placing all the materials into a bucket and shaking it to dislodge the seeds. Pass the material through a sieve to separate the unwanted material. The finer material will contain both seeds (soft)and frass (hard) usually distinguishable from each other but can be very similar in shape and colour. With finer sieves, the seeds can be separated from the frass but this is not essential for storage or propagation. Store the seeds with a desiccant such as dried silica beads or dry rice, in an air tight container in a cool and dry place.
Seed viability:
From one collection, the seed viability was high, at 95%.
Seed germination:
Seeds are non-dormant, viable seed should germinate readily.
Seeds stored:
LocationNo. of seeds
(weight grams)
of plants
Collection number
Collection location
% ViabilityStorage
21250 (7.05 g)
21250 (7.05 g)
Southern Lofty
Location: BGA — the seeds are stored at the Adelaide Botanic Gardens, MSB — the seeds are stored at the Millennium Seed Bank, Kew, England.
Number of plants: This is the number of plants from which the seeds were collected.
Collection location: The Herbarium of South Australia's region name.
% Viability: Percentage of filled healthy seeds determined by a cut test or x-ray.
Germination table:
DateResultT0T50Pre-treatment | Germination medium | Incubator: Photoperiod / Thermoperiod
Mar-14100%8 d8 d
1% agar;
Incubated under spring/autumn conditions
Oct-1498%10 d27 d
1% agar;
Incubated under winter conditions
Oct-1496%10 d10 d
1% agar;
Incubated under summer conditions
Mar-1488%8 d17 d
1% agar;
Incubated under winter conditions
Oct-1476%10 d16 d
1% agar;
Incubated under spring/autumn conditions
Result: Maximum percentage of germination observed.
T0: Number of days before first germinant observed.
T50: Number of days to achieve 50% germination.
Pre-treatment: The initial treatment that the seeds received prior to placement on germination media.
Germination medium: The substrate that seeds were placed on for the duration of the germination experiment.
Incubator conditions:
Photoperiod: The duration of light exposure that the seeds were subject to during a 24 hour period.
Thermoperiod: The constant or diurnal temperatures that seeds were subject to during a 24 hour period.
Winter conditions: 15°C 20 h (3am→11pm); 5°C 4 h (11pm→3am) / 10 h light (8am→6pm); 14 h dark (6pm→8am)
Spring/Autumn conditions: 22°C 12 h (8am→8pm); 10°C 12 h (8pm→8am) / 12 h light (8am→8pm); 12 h dark (8pm→8am)
Summer conditions: 30°C 14 h (6am→8pm); 15°C 10 h (8pm→6am) / 14 h light (6am→8pm); 10 h dark (8pm→6am)