Plant of the Month – September 2015


(Eucalyptus gracilis)

(Photos: C. Schultz, leaves and buds; flowers; Cape Jervis )

Although the yorrell is common in SA, we only know of a handful around Cape Jervis … and these are much smaller than ones growing elsewhere (2-3 metres, vs 8-15 metres). Once again, the harsh soils and wild, windy weather at the Cape have worked together to reduce the size of the local specimens. The multiple trunks shed their bark in short ribbons higher up, exposing smooth white wood; lower down the bark persists like a collar around the base. Leaves are long and narrow, hairless, often glossy, sometimes with a red margin. Each of the up to seven white flowers in a cluster have two rows of stamens, and no petals. Their buds are smooth with a cap shorter than the base part, while the gumnuts are barrel-shaped. ‘Gracilis’ means slender or graceful, describing the habit of the yorrell beautifully.