Red Box

Eucalyptus polyanthemos

Red Box
Red Box

Medium sized (up to 20m) tree, with grey, finely interlaced and crumbly‑fibrous bark, sometimes coarsely fissured at the base in mature trees. Upper branches are smooth.

Notable among the peppermints for juvenile leaves with no stem, opposite in pairs and blue grey colour. Mature leaves 7–15cm long, broad, pointed, stalked and alternate with
many obvious oil glands and strong peppermint smell when crushed.

Tight clusters of buds (11 to many) on slightly flattened stalks, leading to white flowers in October‑November. The fruit is pear-shaped with a flattish top.

Distribution: widespread from the Northern Tablelands of NSW to eastern Victoria, usually on very poor stony soils. Locally on Black Mountain and in Tidbinbilla Nature Reserve.

Has been used for gum, timber, fuel, oils, honey and medicinal (Indigenous).