A characteristic tree in eucalypt forest and associated woodlands on flat, deep soils of medium to high fertility, very noticeable by its collar of tessellated bark changing to smooth grey white. A fast-growing evergreen tree, 10-20 m tall. The lower part of the trunk has persistent, rough, dark grey bark that is closely and evenly cracked into rectangular segments (tessellated). The upper part of the trunk has a smooth grey or white surface. Narrow, lanceolate leaves may be up to about 15 cm long and as little as 1 cm wide. The fresh fruiting capsules are thin and can be squashed easily with the fingers (hence also known as one of the paper-fruited bloodwoods). Widespread in the tropical and subtropical regions of Queensland, Western Australia and the Northern Territory on deep well-drained soils. Resistant to strong winds, heat and drought and will tolerate a moderate amount of salt spray. Propagation is from seed. Flowering occurs from midwinter to early summer. Fruit cylindrical or ovoid, more or less striate, 8-11 mm long, 6-8 mm wide, disc depressed, valves enclosed.

Photo: Robert Whyte