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.
Information about Eucalyptus albida displayed on this page is based on our research about it conducted in our library and gathered from reliable online sources. We include observations made of this plant as it grows in our nursery gardens and in other gardens that we have visited, as well as how the crops have performed in containers in our own nursery field. We will also incorporate comments that we receive from others about this plant when we feel it adds information and particularly welcome hearing from anyone who has any additional cultural recommendations that would aid others in growing it.