Habitat and Distribution
The Swamp Mahogany is a tall, ‘robust’ tree (20 – 30 metres) occurring in swamps and alongside estuaries in a narrow coastal strip, usually within a few kilometres of the ocean. It ranges north in Rockhampton, Queensland, to south around Moruya in New South Wales and is usually found on sandy and loam soils. It forms a dominant part of coastal Swamp Sclerophyll Forests in NSW flood plains.
Eucalyptus is one of three similar genera that are commonly referred to as “eucalypts”, the others being Corymbia (bloodwoods) and Angophora.
Bark fully covers the trunk and branches and is stringy, thick red-brown in colour, and has a spongy feel when pressed. The long branches spread laterally and form a dense canopy with broad green leaves that are arranged alternately along the stems (a Eucalyptus characteristic).
Flowers are white or cream-coloured and clustered in inflorescences of 7 to 13 flowers. The flowers appear anywhere from March to September, and peak over May and June.
The seed capsules are cylindrical-shaped and very different to any other Eucalypt it grows with. The capsules are large, 1 - 1.6cm long to about 1cm wide. Seeds are light-brown to yellow up to 1.8mm long, pyramidal or obliquely pyramidal in shape.
It is an important autumn-winter flowering species in eastern Australia for birds, Flying-foxes, and arboreal mammals.
The Swamp Mahogany tolerates a wide variety of climates and conditions and has been extensively planted around the world. Its’ hardwood timber is used for firewood and in general construction. They have also been grown for erosion control and as street trees.
Did you know?
- A row of The Swamp Mahogany was planted at the Sydney Royal Botanic Gardens Sydney in 1813, and the trees are still healthy today. These trees can live for 200 years.
- It is known to be one of the few food trees eaten by Koalas. It is a key food species for the Koala in southern Queensland.
Where can the Broad-leaved Paperbark be seen in the Parklands?
- Swamp Mahogany can be found in various locations including Paperbark Grove, Southern side of the Lily Pond, Frog Hollow, Sandstone Ridge and Depot Bank.
- You can use the Centennial Parklands Plant Explorer to search a map of plant locations in the park.