Eucalyptus sideroxylon commonly known as Mugga, Red Ironbark or Mugga Ironbark, is a medium-sized to tall tree belonging to Family Myrtaceae. It is endemic to Australia and widely distributed in south-eastern Queensland, western slope and plains of New South Wales, and south and central Victoria.
The tree has hard, deeply furrowed bark which is typical of ironbarks. The bark is persistent and deep brown to black in colour.
Tree can grow up to about 35 m high. The smaller branches on the top may shed in short ribbons, exposing the white or grey colour under the bark.
Adult leaves are lanceolate in shape, 7–15 cm long, 1. 2–1.8 cm wide, green or grey-green in colour.
Eucalyptus sideroxylon starts flowering in mid autumn (March in Sydney). Flower buds are in group of 4 to 7 or more with long pedicles. The buds are ovoid in shape, 8 to 12 mm long, 4 to 6 mm in diameter. The operculum (bud cap) is conical, shorter and narrower than the hypanthium. The colour of the flowers is white or pink. The tree which I studied has beautiful pink flowers.
Fruit is globose, hemispherical or ovoid, commonly 6-locular, 6–11 mm long, 5–9 mm diameter.
Eucalyptus sideroxylon produces dense, durable wood and has high resistance to rotting and termites. Its heartwood is dark red and the sapwood pale yellow. It has been used for a range of heavy duty applications including fencing, posts for transmission, piers, bridges, building timber, flooring, railway sleepers, beams and other engineering structures.
The wood can be polished to a high sheen. It has been used for furniture, craftwood and benchtops. It can be used as fuelwood.
The wood has a density of 1130 kg/m3 (1.3 g / cm3) It is one of the few timbers that will not float on water.
The flowers produce nectar for honey production, pollen has value for apiculture (beekeeping)
The leaves are used in the production of cineole based eucalyptus oil.
Eucalyptus sideroxylon is suitable for medium to larger gardens and planted widely as street trees. It is hardy in a wide range of soils and climates. The tree is also frost tolerant.
I would like to thank Mr Andrew Orme of the National Herbarium of New South Wales (Royal Botanic Garden) for his help in identifying the tree.