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Eucalyptus gomphocephala A. DC.


Source: James A. Duke. 1983. Handbook of Energy Crops. unpublished.

  1. Uses
  2. Folk Medicine
  3. Chemistry
  4. Description
  5. Germplasm
  6. Distribution
  7. Ecology
  8. Cultivation
  9. Harvesting
  10. Yields and Economics
  11. Energy
  12. Biotic Factors
  13. Chemical Analysis of Biomass Fuels
  14. References


Widely planted as a windbreak and sandstabilizer, as well as an avenue and shade tree. Seasoning well, the wood works nicely and is good for boxcars, construction, fenceposts, stakes, trucks, and wagons (NAS, 1980a; Little, 1983). Bees working the flowers produce a choice light creamy honey.

Folk Medicine

No data available.


The leaf is reported to contain only 0.03% essential oil, rich in a-phellandrene and a-pinene (C.S.I.R., 1948–1976); the bark and kino contain tannin (Watt and Breyer-Brandwijk, 1962).


Evergreen tree 12–42 m high. Trunk short, 1–2.3 m in diameter; crown dense, broad, with large spreading to nearly upright branches. Bark light ashy-gray, fibrous, finely fissured, not shedding. Leaves alternate, narrowly lanceolate, 12–17 cm long, 1.5–2.5 cm wide, slightly curved, acuminate, acute at base, entire, glabrous, thick, both surfaces shiny gray-green with faint regular veins. Umbels single at leaf base, with broad flat stalk 2.5–3.5 cm long and 1–1.5 cm wide. Flowers 3–7, stalkless from buds 20–25 mm long. Stamens many, long, threadlike, white, with oblong anthers and oblong gland. Pistil with inferior 4-celled ovary and short style. Capsules 13–20 mm long, 11–15 mm in diameter. Seeds many, tiny, 2–3 mm long, light brown (Little, 1983).


Reported from the Australian Center of Diversity, tuart, or cvs thereof, is reported to tolerate calcareous soil, limestone, salt, sand, and wind (NAS, 1980a). While tolerating slightly saline soils, it will not tolerate water-logging. This species is one of the best for winter rainfall areas.


Grows naturally in pure or almost pure stands, less commonly in mixed forests with other eucalypts, restricted to a narrow sandy coastal plain behind the coastal dunes near Perth, from sea level to 30 m. Cultivated and/or promising in Cyprus, Ethiopia, Greece, Israel, Italy, Libya, Morocco (66,000 ha), Tunisia, Turkey, and Uruguay (NAS, 1980a).


Tuart is reported to tolerate annual precipitation of 3 to 10 dm and annual temperature of ca 16 to 18°C, with 6 dry summer months. It grows naturally on neutral yellow or brown sand over limestone. Growing well on coarse, well-drained sands, it will tolerate 25% active Ca. Still it is said to be unsuitable for high lime soils and for frosty areas. It tolerates lower fertility than E. camaldulensis.


Easily propagated from seed and coppice (Little, 1983). Cultivation by dry farming techniques is best in the first year or two to suppress weed growth.


Rotations of 7–10 years are used. Trees regenerate readily from coppice.

Yields and Economics

Irrigated fertile Moroccan soils have yielded annually 21–44 m3/ha, but yields of 6–7 are more usual on difficult sites.


One of the densest woods known (sp. grav. 1.17), tuart burns well and makes good firewood.

Biotic Factors

The eucalypt borer (Phoracantha semipunctata) may be a pest, especially in drier sites. In addition, Browne (1968) lists the following as affecting this species: (Fungi) Armillaria mellea, Fusarium oxysporum. (Coleoptera) Systates surdus, Triphocarisa acanthocera. (Hemiptera) Apiomorpha egeria.

Chemical Analysis of Biomass Fuels

Analysing 62 kinds of biomass for heating value, Jenkins and Ebeling (1985) reported a spread of 19.23 to 18.03 MJ/kg, compared to 13.76 for weathered rice straw to 23.28 MJ/kg for prune pits. On a % DM basis, the wh. plant contained 81.60% volatiles, 1.10% ash, 17.30% fixed carbon, 48.18%C, 5.92%H, 44.18% O, 0.39% N, 0.01% S, 0.20% Cl, and undetermined residue.


Complete list of references for Duke, Handbook of Energy Crops
Last update Tuesday, January 6, 1998 by aw