Grey Box © Neil Blair/RBGV

Grey Box

Medium-sized tree with long ascending branches forming a fairly large crown, grey fibrous bark on the lower branches and trunk. The upper branches have a smooth grey coloured bark. Commonly grows to 10 - 25 m tall.


Juvenile leaves petiolate (a stalk that joins a leaf to a stem), are dull green, oval, usually 15 cm long and 5 cm wide. Adult leaves are narrow oval shape tapering to a point at each end, usually 8 – 15 cm long and 1 – 2 cm wide, clustered and dull green.


The flower buds have cone-like caps. Flowers are cream to white which appear in late summer to winter (February to June).


Round or oval, 3 - 7 mm long and 3 – 5 mm wide, coupled on a small stalk and brown in colour.

Field Guide

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Species: WhatToObserve Image

What to Observe

  • First fully open single flower

  • Full flowering (record all days)

  • End of flowering (when 95% of the flowers have faded)

  • No flowering

Species: WhenAndWhere Image

When and Where

When To Look

  • Flowering between February and June

Where To Look

  • South Australia, Victoria, NSW, Queensland and the Australian Capital Territory
  • Widespread and locally abundant in grassy woodland on sandy-silty soils of moderate fertility
Species: WhatElse Image

What Else?

Similar Species

Narrow-leaved Grey Box (E. pilligaensis) has narrower juvenile and adult leaves.

White Box (E. albens) adult leaves are petiolate, 10 – 16 cm long and 1.7 – 3 cm wide, dull blue-grey. Flowers August to February, white flowers.

Can be confused with Yellow Box (E. mellidora) which has a scruffy, yellowish to dark brown fibrous bark, dull, green and grey leaves with distinct intramarginal veins and fruit with enclosed valves.