Common name: Bookleaf Mallee
Origin of Scientific Name
Eucalyptus - from Greek, eu - well and calyptos - covered, referring to the cap which covers the developing flowers.
Kruseana - after a German-born pharmacist, John Kruse, who practiced in Melbourne.
Eucalyptus kruseana, or the Bookleaf Mallee, has highly decorative grey foliage and is an ornamental mallee. It has pale leaves and buds ranging in colour from blue to grey to green, and boasts orbicular leaves that grow overlapping each other, as the pages of a book would. They are unlike the typical shape of many eucalypt leaves.
The Bookleaf Mallee has a very compact habit in its first few years, developing a more open appearance as it ages. Growing up to 3 metres in height, it displays small clusters of creamy yellow flowers in winter and early spring, from quite an early stage of development. The flowers along with its peculiar foliage make it a worthy cut flower.
In the wild, this plant is considered to be high priority with a limited distribution around a few hilly and arid areas near Kalgoorlie in Western Australia. In a domestic environment, you will find this tree can handle most soil types, as well as cold environments and frost.
- It is recommended to plant this tree in autumn/winter in free draining soils, with a slow release native fertiliser. Soil moisture content should be monitored periodically during the first winter to ensure the soil isn't too dry, and it is recommended to water twice weekly during the first summer and autumn. It is also prudent to give the tree a good soaking at the base during long dry spells.
- Keep an eye out for caterpillars, especially when this tree is still young. These pests love to have a nibble at the soft and delicate leaves!
- Being planted around the perimeter of a wooded area gives a great understorey appearance.
- This species has proven to be very hardy and long-lived under cultivation.
- Prune this tree while it is still young to the desired form. This tree will require maintenance pruning, but can also tolerate hard pruning.
View in Kings Park
Visit Kings Park to see the Bookleaf Mallee along Forrest Drive opposite the DNA Tower, and at the rear of the Floral Clock (refer to map).
Want more information?
Refer to the profile for this plant on the Department of Biodiversity, Conservation and Attractions' FloraBase online herbarium.