Jarrah (Eucalyptus marginata)
Jarrah, famous for its timber, is a very common tree of the Perth area and to the south, where the only other similarly widespread eucalypt is marri (Corymbia calophylla). Jarrah occurs in an isolated population at Mt Lesueur, over 200 kilometres north of Perth, but otherwise its range extends northwards to just north of Yanchep National Park on the Swan Coastal Plain, and to near New Norcia further inland. Along with marri, jarrah dominates a large forested area of the South-West known as the Jarrah Forest.
Although in much of the Jarrah Forest jarrah grows as a tall tree, in many places it is much less tall but stout and spreading, notably on the Swan Coastal Plain.
Jarrah has two forms. One, known as blue-leaved jarrah (subspecies thalassica), has leaves that on both sides are bluish grey-green. It occurs in the Darling Range from about the latitude of Pinjarra northwards to near New Norcia. Occupying the rest of jarrah’s range, including the Swan Coastal Plain, is the more typical form (subspecies marginata), with leaves that are dark green one side and pale green the other.
The pictures — apart from two close-ups, of jarrah’s bark and flowers — are arranged essentially from north to south, and show mostly stout, spreading specimens. The forests of taller trees have, almost everywhere, been heavily cut for timber, and now largely comprise young trees. The original character of these forests is best seen in old photographs such as some of those in this website’s ‘Historical’ section.
© Text and photographs: Robert Powell