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Eucalyptus coolabah (prev. E. microtheca)

Plant Family


Alternative Common Names

coolibah, Gulibaa is the local indigenous word for the tree

A medium tree that grows to a height of 20 m with spreading branches and has hard, fibrous to flaky grey bark with whitish patches on part or all of the trunk and sometimes on the larger branches. The upper bark is smooth and powdery, white to cream-coloured, pale grey or pink and is shed in short ribbons. Has become famous from the song ‘Waltzing Matilda’ and the tree where Burke and Wills blazed their ‘dig’ message in 1861.

Leaves - are the same dull green to bluish or greyish on both sides.

Flower - buds are arranged on a branching inflorescence in leaf axils with groups of seven buds on each branch. Flowers are white.

Fruit - woody conical or hemispherical capsule with the valves protruding beyond the rim.

Flowering has been recorded in most months, but mostly in summer.

Indigenous uses - the wood used to make spears, fire-making apparatus, message sticks, coolamons (wooden dishes) and throwing sticks. They would also obtain water from the rootwood.


The tree occurs on occasionally flooded heavy-soiled plains and banks of intermittent streams and creeks that will usually not flow often enough to support the river red gum.

4, 5, 6

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