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Bell-Fruited Mallee (Eucalyptus preissiana)

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A small eucalypt, potentially growing to 5 metres tall and a few metres wide, with a mallee habit. It is endemic to Western Australia, growing close to the south coast mostly between Albany and Esperance and extending about 200 km inland. It grows in coastal heathlands and shrublands and forms part of mallee woodlands, usually on sandy or gravelly soils. The bark is smooth.


Eucalyptus spp. have simple and usually alternate adult leaves with juvenile leaves starting off opposite to alternate (disjunct). In this species, juvenile leaves are grey-green to glaucous, (they can start of light green and mature to grey-mauve); to 9.5 cm long and about 6.5 cm wide, elliptic to ovate. Adult leaves are broadly oval, tapering to a point, about 120 mm long by 50 mm wide.


The primary inflorescence of “eucalypts” (Angophora / Corymbia / Eucalyptus) is an umbellaster (an umbel-like cluster of flowers). In the flowers of Corymbia and Eucalyptus, the petals and sepals are fused into the distinctive calyptra / operculum (bud cap) which is shed when the flower opens (in some species, 2 bud caps (opercula) are shed). The flowers are conspicuously staminate – where many stamens are basically taking over the role of the petals, all surrounding one central carpel. In this species, the large, yellow flowers are 30 mm or more in diameter and produced in umbellasters of 3s. The preceeding buds are attractive, ovoid to about 2.5 cm long and 2 cm wide, green with a red and slightly raised-rounded operculum.


The fruit of eucalypts are a woody capsule (commonly called ‘gum nuts’) which come in a wide variety of shapes with the top part having a sunken, flat or raised disc and with the valves inserted, disc-level, exserted to strongly exserted. In this species, they are bell-shaped capsules, to 3 cm long and 4 cm wide.