Friday, 20 February 2009


here's a mystery...a student brought a bag of leaves to a class recently, in the assumption they were "gum leaves". while they resemble eucalyptus in many ways the undulating margin is unusual. also odd is that the torn edge on the leaf seems to be self-sealing and the whole leaf swells up like a wee bubble when heated in water.

it makes a very pretty ecoprint - gold with tiny purple and chocolate spots...quite leopard-like!

if anyone knows what it is i'd be delighted to be enlightened...

appendix [March 3, 2009]... problem solved by Dean Nicolle of the Currency Creek Aboretum

The tree is Eucalyptus utilis (coastal moort). This species is native to the south coast of W.A., but is very commonly planted throughout much of southern Australia as for a quick-growing screen and shelter, especially in difficult coastal sites. In fact the name utilis is Latin for utilize, because it is so commonly planted. The species used to go under the name E. platypus var. heterophylla, so you might find it under this older name in some books.


  1. I don't know what it is but intriguing - love the way you've put the photos and info together in an image - how do you do that?

  2. Hi India
    I took the photos of the mystery leaves to my very clever horticultural friend and she says without seeing it in the leaf so to say that she is fairly sure that what you have there is 'Eucalyptus Platypus". she was not prepared to be 100 % but that's er very knowledgable opinion.

  3. thanks Peta but i'm inclined to disagree..Eucalyptus platypus has elliptical to orbicular foliage and so far as i know doesn't have that curious undulating margin that this little number displays.
    also previous experience with E.platypus has given a radically different coloured eco-print, dark red in fact - quite aside from the shape issue. so i think the jury may still be out...
    and Rambling Rose...pasting pictures is easy..done in Photoshop by creating a new file, reducing the size of the various images and then pasting them in. then you 'merge layers' and type over the top. really very simple [much more beautiful things can be done in photoshop - this was a bit of a rush job]

  4. hi India, took a little while to read your blogs, but back operation was a succes and now I've to be patient ( so hard)
    about your question, is it eucalyptus which sufferd from the fire?
    Its awful what happens in your country, and what a generous offer your mother made!!!!

  5. looks like Peta's very clever horticultural friend was right after all...but that the name has now changed.
    and my comment about my earlier experience with a different dye colour achieved from E.platypus is a good reminder [to me] of the variability in results depending on climate and locality!