Black ironbark

Black ironbark

Eucalyptus sideroxylon

Common Name:

Black ironbark

Scientific Name:

Eucalyptus sideroxylon

Alternative common names:

Mugga, red ironbark and swartysterbasbloekom (Afrikaans). 


The black ironbark, also known as the mugga or red ironbark, is a small to medium-sized, evergreen tree reaching 15-26m high. It has a moderately spreading crown and shallow roots that may outcompete adjacent plants. The bark is hard and deeply furrowed.

Additional Information

Where does this species come from?

South-Eastern Australia.

What is its invasive status in South Africa?

CARA Category 2. Not listed in the NEMBA legislation.

Where in South Africa is it a problem?

Gauteng, Mpumalanga, Kwa-Zulu Natal, Limpopo and North West.

How does it spread?

It was planted in South Africa for various uses, including timber, fuel (wood), in shelterbelts, for honey production and as an ornamental plant. The seeds are dispersed by wind.

Why is it a problem?

It is invasive in riparian habitats.

What does it look like?

Leaves: Dark greyish-green, 60-110mm long.

Flowers: Cream, pink or deep rose-red with exerted stamens. It flowers in winter.

Fruit/seeds: The fruits are brown pendulous capsules, round to oval, 8-10mm long with deeply enclosed valves, often covered by a stamina ring.

Does the plant have any uses?

Good ornamental attributes, potential farm use, good fence posts, wood products such as flooring, fuel (wood), industrial charcoal.

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