Common name: Octopus Mallee
Origin of Scientific Name
Eucalyptus (Greek), meaning well and calyptos (Greek), meaning covered referring to the cap which covers the developing flowers.
Sinuosa (Latin), sinuosus meaning winding or full of bends, referring to the distinctive bud caps this Mallee exhibits.
This bushy mallee has a low, dense growth habit and is found on the south coast of Western Australia, commonly growing among the Esperance Sandplains. It grows 2 -4 metres tall and is usually multi-stemmed from a lignotuber.
Eucalyptus sinuosa has a large and interesting floral habit where each ‘flower’ is actually a cluster of tightly held individual flowers which look like an exploding firework when in bloom. The impressive displays of yellow-green flowers attract small nectar-feeding birds, bees and other insects.
When in bud, the long, sinuous red tinged bud caps tend to curl towards the ends, giving them an almost ‘tentacle’ like appearance - hence the common name of Octopus Mallee. The fruits are grouped together and fused into spiky clusters.
The buds and flowers of Eucalyptus sinuosa appear similar to some other species such as E. lehmannii and E. macquoidii.
Eucalyptus sinuosa has smooth bark, which sheds in strips. The young leaves are rough in texture, while the older leaves are smooth, long and dark green.
- Eucalyptus sinuosa is virtually unknown in cultivation, being scientifically published in 2008. The first cultivated specimens in Kings Park were planted in 2011.
- This is a threatened plant in the wild but may be available in the future through the Friends of Kings Park plant sales.
For more horticultural tips view our Plant Notes section.
View in Kings Park
Visit Kings Park and Botanic Garden to see the Octopus Mallee growing at the entry to Rio Tinto Naturescape Kings Park (refer to map).
Want more information?
Refer to the profile for this plant on the Department of Biodiversity, Conservation and Attractions' FloraBase online herbarium.