Eucalyptus melliodora (Yellow Box)

This post was inspired by the Twitter sensation #FavEuc by the team at QAECO. The request to vote for your favourite eucalypt (see my previous post on different eucalypt genera) got me thinking, there are so many and they are all great in their own right, but if I had to choose, which would get the nod. As you can gather from the title, my favourite is Eucalyptus melliodora (Yellow Box). These eucalypts are common in Victoria and were one of the more common species in my PhD field sites along the Broken-Boosey Creek system. E. melliodora occurs in Victoria, NSW, and Queensland, and is a great example of an Australian native woodland gem.

Eucalyptus melliodora (Yellow Box)

Eucalyptus melliodora (Yellow Box)

So as a tribute to this magnificent species, I have put together some information on why I like it so much:

Juvenile leaves

Perhaps the reason for my initial fondness of this species was its gorgeous juvenile leaves. The small elliptic blue-green leaves stand out beautifully in contrast to those of E. microcarpa (Grey Box) with which it often co-occurs.

Eucalyptus melliodora (Yellow Box) juvenile leaves

Eucalyptus melliodora (Yellow Box) juvenile leaves

Eucalyptus melliodora (Yellow Box) juvenile leaves

Eucalyptus melliodora (Yellow Box) juvenile leaves

Eucalyptus melliodora (Yellow Box) juvenile leaves

Eucalyptus melliodora (Yellow Box) juvenile leaves


The bark is quite variable and is more of a standout as it gets a bit larger. The flaky golden bark of a large old YB is a stunning site (as appreciated by others), and could entertain you for hours looking over it, picking bits off, watching all the insects who live amongst the complex golden world that is enormous to them.

Eucalyptus melliodora (Yellow Box) bark

Eucalyptus melliodora (Yellow Box) bark


Now this is a great attribute of these trees, not only are their flowers classic ‘Euc’ flowers, but their production is so impressive. There have been many occasions in the field where I have been able to hear a large flowering YB because of the swarm of bees that were enjoying its bounty. Needless to say, it is a fantastic tree for honey production, perhaps the best of all the eucalypts.

Eucalyptus melliodora (Yellow Box) flowers

Eucalyptus melliodora (Yellow Box) flowers

I hope this is enough to at least give you some idea of what I see in this tree, and if you already feel a similar fondness for it you might consider voting for it on the QAECO website.


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9 Responses to Eucalyptus melliodora (Yellow Box)

  1. Peter Forward says:

    My son is researching (honours Latrobe) MLD (Mycosphaerella) disease in commercial bluegum, now spreading throughout the world. I’m wondering if “The flaky golden bark of a large old YB ……….. watching all the insects who live among the complex golden world that is enormous to them” i.e.flora/fauna associated with eucalypts is missing in monocultural plantations, hence MLD has no biological control. My childhood memories of yellowbox was fenceposts and the best tasting honey, I wonder if the real stuff is still available?

    • Thanks for the comment Peter, I’m glad to hear you are a yellow box fan. Unfortunately I am not really up to date with eucalypt diseases so can’t give you much more of an insight into this apart from that I am quite sure that monocultural plantations will have a lower faunal diversity to match the lower floral diversity. I am not sure what fauna may be able to control the fungal disease, if any, but the lack of floral diversity certainly will make it easier for the disease to spread within plantations.

  2. Pingback: Portrait of a tree | Chas Spain

  3. ADRIANO EGS says:

    Esta arvore se adapta em solos brasileiros.

  4. Hi Chris,

    I’m putting together a species guide for a free farm regetation program that my company is running. The guide will be sent to about 150 people. I’d love your permission to use some of the yellow box photos you’ve included on your blog. Is this possible?

  5. Andrea says:

    Hi Chris, How are you? Hope all is going well. Just came across your interesting blog! I low Yellow Box as well. I am wondering if you would mind me using your image of the Yellow Box flowers on one of our webpages? cheers Andrea

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