Plant of the Month — March 2004
Eucalyptus erythrocorys F.Muell. — Illyarrie
The contrast between the yellow flowers, the brilliant red operculum (bud cap) and deep green leaves, make this an outstanding small tree. The bark is smooth and grey, and when fully grown, this tree can reach heights of between 3 and 8 metres. Although Eucalyptus erythrocorys may sometimes become untidy, its shape is appealing and can be controlled easily with light pruning.
Its habitat encompasses a wide range of soil-types, from sandy plains to limestone ridges and outcrops. It occurs primarily on the Geraldton Sandplains, from Shark Bay to Jurien. Because of its bright colours, Eucalyptus erythrocorys is attractive to nectar-loving birds.
The brightness and beauty of Eucalyptus erythrocorys has ensured that it is a popular garden species in Western Australia and throughout Australia, being available from most retail plant nurseries. Staff and visitors are currently enjoying one of these trees “strutting its stuff” on the driveway of the Western Australian Herbarium.
Photo: M. Seale
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