Common name: Kingsmill's Mallee
Origin of Scientific Name
Eucalyptus - derived from the Greek eu, well and calyptos, covered; in reference to the flower-bud which has an operculum or cap.
kingsmillii - after Sir Walter Kingsmill (1864-1935), a former Member of the Legislative Council in WA.
E.kingsmillii is a very attractive tall mallee or small tree growing to approximately 1.5-8 m high. The bark is rough, grey and shaggy or flaky on the lower part of the trunk and smooth on the upper stems with red-brown and whitish grey to grey-brown bark. Trunks are solitary or multiple, arising from lignotuber.
Juvenile leaves are dull, blue-green, petiolate, alternating and ovate to lanceolate. Mature leaves are blue-green to blue-grey, petiolate, alternating and lanceolate, approximately 5 cm - 13 cm x 1 cm -3 cm. The inflorescences are axillary unbranched, pendulous and 3 flowered. Buds are 3.5 cm x 2.5 cm, reddish, maturing to brown with 5-8 prominent ribs. Flowers are up to 3 cm across and vary from pale yellow to pinkish red, sometimes with basal tinge of pink to filaments.
This species is scattered in the arid areas of Western Australia, including the Hamersley Range. It usually occurs on skeletal soils over sandstone or ironstone, rocky rises and sandplains. Refer to the distribution map for this species via the Department of Environment and Conservation's FloraBase online herbarium.
April to September
Best propagated from seed which germinates readily. It must have good drainage in cultivation and does best in arid or semi-arid regions. Plant in late autumn in a full-sun aspect. Water thoroughly at the time of planting; it should not be necessary to give extra water unless there is a prolonged dry spell. Pruning may be required if branches become laden with fruit in which case selective removal of fruit or light pruning after flowering will help. Apply a slow-release 8-9 month fertiliser at the time of planting and, if required, annually.
The most distinguishing feature of E. kingsmillii is its sculptured, ridged buds and fruits that occur in pendulous groups of three. It makes a very attractive ornamental species for use in both gardens and parks. Its two most closely related species are E. youngiana and E. pachyphylla, both having prominently ridged buds. All are desert dwelling species and have been known to hybridise in their native environment.
View in Kings Park
This species can be seen in the entrance desert bed within the Western Australian Botanic Garden.