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Eucalyptus pulverulenta

Silver-leaved Mountain Gum

Family: Myrtaceae

Eucalyptus pulverulenta is known as the Silver-leaved Mountain Gum and develops into a tall shrub or small tree. In cultivation the species is usually seen as a tall, spreading shrub.

The Silver-leaved Mountain Gum is an unusual Eucalypt (especially for eastern Australia) because it retains juvenile foliage into maturity. Plants rarely produce adult leaves.

Leaves, young stems and inflorescences have a powdery white bloom. This is the meaning of the species name.

The juvenile leaves are silvery-grey, round and opposite (see image). Cream flowers are carried in clusters of three in the upper leaf axils. Flowering occurs between May and November. Large fruits are cup-shaped and often retain the powdery bloom.

Eucalyptus pulverulenta is a listed threatened species with restricted distribution. There are two small populations. One in the Blue Mountains, west of Sydney and the other is in the Southern Tablelands. In the past the species distribution may have been more widespread with populations occurring between the north and south occurrences. There may even be populations hidden in the wild country of the Blue Mountains National Park and the Warragamba Dam Catchment Area.

In the garden

Eucalyptus pulverulenta is a striking plant and could be grown as a “stand alone” specimen in the larger suburban garden or rural property.

The plant photographed is a cultivar known as “Baby Blue” growing in our garden. This is a dwarf form. Our plant after about four years in the ground is three metres tall and a similar width. The specimen flowered profusely three years after planting.

Eucalyptus pulverulenta responds enthusiastically to hard pruning.

Propagation

Propagate from seed.

Other information

The Silver-leaved Mountain Gum is widely grown in California as an ornamental. In Australia the species is cultivated as a cut foliage plant. 

As stated above, there is a cultivar called ‘Baby Blue’

This species can likely regnerate from the lignotuber following fire. May also regenerate from seed. 

Eucalyptus – from Greek, eu, “well” or “true” and calyptus, referring to the calyptra (καλύπτρo) or operculum, which is a bud cap or covering which covers the developing flowers. The calyptra is a fusion of petals and/or sepals and is shed when the flower opens, leaving a flower with many stamens (staminate) surrounding one female part (carpel).

pulverulenta – Latin meaning “powdered” or “dusty” – referring to the white waxy bllom often seen on the leaves, buds and fruits. 

This species is listed as being threatened with extinction in the wild at both the State and Commonwealth level with the category of Vulnerable.

EUCLID – Eucalypts of Australia – Centre for Australian National Biodiversity Research – Eucalyptus pulverulenta profile page            https://apps.lucidcentral.org/euclid/text/entities/eucalyptus_pulverulenta.htm

NSW Flora Online (PlantNET) – Eucalyptus pulverulenta profile page       https://plantnet.rbgsyd.nsw.gov.au/cgi-bin/NSWfl.pl?page=nswfl&lvl=sp&name=Eucalyptus~pulverulenta

Wrigley, J.W. & Fagg, M.I. (2001). Australian Native Plants – Propagation, cultivation and use in landscaping. 4th edition. New Holland Publishers, Pty. Ltd. Australia.

Mallee Design – Prune Me! I am Eucalyptus pulverulenta                            https://malleedesign.com.au/prune-me-i-am-eucalyptus-pulverulenta/

By Warren and Gloria Sheather