Eucalyptus albida (White-leaved Mallee) - A shrubby Eucalyptus that grows to 10 feet tall with a smooth often powdery white or green-grey bark and ovate 1 to 2 in long waxy white juvenile leaves held tight to the stem in opposite pairs. Mature dark glossy green lance shaped leaves are 2 to 4 inches, are alternately arranged and have petioles. Mature plants have creamy white flowers in summer that are attractive to birds and bees.
Plant in full sun in a well-drained soil and irrigate occasionally to infrequently. It is drought tolerant and hardy to frost resistant - some say tolerating temperatures down as low as 10 °F. Both juvenile and mature leaves are often present, which is an attractive combination but most often this plant is coppiced to continue production of the juvenile leaves for their attractive white color in the garden and for floral use.
This plant is common in the southern Wheatbelt region of south Western Australia from near Moora to near Hamersley River. The name for the genus comes from the Greek words 'eu' meaning "well" and 'kalypto' meaning 'to cover' as with a lid and an allusion to the united calyx-lobes and petals that is called an operculum that forms a lid or cap that is shed when the flowers open. The specific epithet means "whitish" in reference to the juvenile leaves. It has also been called Rustle Gum by florists. In Stan Kelly's two volume Eucalyptus his painting shows the beautiful mix of mature and juvenile foliage and in the text (written by G.M Chippendale and R.D. Johnston) it notes that "Juvenile leaves of most species of Eucalyptus are very distinctive, but none more so than E. albida."
We thank Jo O'Connell at Australian Native Plant Nursery and Joe Walker at Obra Verde Growers for introducing us to this attractive plant.
The information about Eucalyptus albida displayed on this page is based on research conducted in our nursery library and from online sources we consider reliable. We will also relate those observations made of this plant as it grows in our nursery gardens and in other gardens that we have visited, as well how the crops have performed in containers in our nursery field. We will also incorporate comments we receive from others and welcome hearing from anyone who has additional information, particularly when they share cultural information that would aid others in growing it.