Common name: Kingsmill's Mallee

Family: MYRTACEAE

Eucalyptus kingsmillii in flower. Photo: D. Blumer.View image slideshow

Origin of Scientific Name

Eucalyptus – (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.

Description

Eucalyptus kingsmillii is a very attractive tall mallee or small tree growing to approximately 1.5–8 metres 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 and grey-green foliage. Trunks can be solitary or multiple, arising from lignotuber.

The most distinguishing feature of E. kingsmillii is its large sculptured, ridged buds and fruits that occur in pendulous groups of three. Buds are reddish, maturing to brown with five-eight prominent ribs. Flowers up to 3 cm wide appear from April to September and vary from pale yellow to pinkish red, sometimes with a basal tinge of pink to filaments.

It makes a very attractive ornamental species for use in private 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.

This species is scattered in the arid areas of Western Australia, including the hilltops within the Pilbara region, and is therefore drought tolerant once established in the garden. It occurs naturally in a range of habitats including skeletal soils over sandstone or ironstone, rocky rises and sandplains.

Horticultiral tips

  • Best propagated from seed in October.
  • Plant in late autumn in a full-sun aspect and well-drained soil.
  • Water thoroughly at the time of planting and regularly until establishment.
  • Once established, 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.

View in Kings Park

Visit Kings Park and Botanic Garden to see Eucalyptus kingsmillii in the Western Australian Botanic Garden entrance desert bed.

Want more information?

Refer to the profile for this plant on the Department of Biodiversity, Conservation and Attractions' FloraBase online herbarium.

A macro image of a Eucalyptus kingsmillii bud. Photo: D. Blumer. Eucalyptus kingsmillii tree in the garden. Photo: D. Blumer.

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