12 May 2014

Eucalyptus perangusta - WA Narrow-leaved Mallee

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Eucalyptus perangusta – WA Narrow-leaved Mallee

This eucalypt grows very much like a shrub, especially for a few years after bushfires as it has low foliage growing from numerous slender trunks.  Locally it is commonly 2-3 metres (8’) in height, but older trees can grow to twice that size and tend to lose their shrubby appearance when the lower foliage drops to exposed the smooth trunks.

The leaves are to 0.5 cm (3/16”) wide by up to 9 cm (3.5”) in length.  They also have a hooked tip, not unlike the more coastal E. uncinata, but are easily separated by the paired juvenile leaves, which are joined with E. uncinata, but quite free with E. perangusta.  When juvenile foliage is not available, the mature foliage, buds and fruits are much smaller with this species.

The buds are to 0.8 x 0.3 cm (5/16”x 1/8”) and are in clusters of 7, which when in flower produce a collective flower ball of around 2 cm (nearly 1”) diameter.  These are enhanced by several floral clusters along each stem to produce a mass display of white flowers, which are eagerly sort by insects, especially the large Jewel Beetles and honeyeating birds.  The resulting fruits are cupular to 0.5 x 0.4 cm.  Flowering (depending on local weather conditions) is from November to March,

Eucalyptus perangusta favours sandy soils, particularly over gravel or clay and is common inland to 200 km (125 miles) NNW of Esperance, then West to the Hyden region, SW to Gnowangerup, returning East to Jerramungup (100 km West of Esperance). 

Eucalyptus belongs to the very large and highly diverse Myrtaceae family.

Eucalyptus foecunda revisited and six related new species (Myrtaceae)
By MIH Brooker (CSIRO)
Vol 6.   No 3.  1988.