Plant of the Month — December 2019
Eucalyptus macrocarpa Hook. — Mottlecah
Eucalyptus macrocarpa (Mottlecah) is arguably the most spectacular of the flowering gums in Australia with its prolific, vibrant red, bristly flowers up to 15 cm in diameter. The flowers are produced from spring to early summer.
Mottlecah is a sprawling mallee endemic to WA and grows up to 5 metres tall. The foliage and fruits attract almost as much attention as the flowers. Indeed, British botanist W.J. Hooker (1785–1865), when first naming this species in 1842, commented ‘One of the finest among many fine plants lately sent to me by Mr Js. Drummond from the Swan River Colony ... conspicuous by its noble, glaucous, almost white leaves, its red flowers and fruit, both of an unusually large size.’
Mottlecah can be found from near Eneabba south to Cataby and south-east to Kulin, where it grows in sand in undulating heathland.
A festive flower for December indeed!
Photo: R. Davis
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