Eucalyptus mannifera subsp. Elliptica
Bendemeer White Gum. Moderately sized Eucalyptus tree with stunning white bark detail. Good choice for a tree collection, parkland, arboretum and winter garden. Rarely seen in the UK.
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Why we like this variety:-
- Beautiful white bark - a real feature with this tree
- Can be managed with pruning - would look great as a multi-stem
- Good feature tree for a winter garden
Botanical Name: Eucalyptus elliptica ( aka E. mannifera subsp. elliptica)
Common Name: Bendemeer White Gum
Status: Evergreen Tree MYRTACEÆ; Myrtle Family
Origin: Northern Tablelands of New South Wales
Description, habit, uses and attributes:
Eucalyptus elliptica is a very beautiful ornamental tree. Small to medium sized, smooth-barked Eucalyptus found on the granite hills of the Northern Tablelands and in grassy woodland of south-western Australia.
I have read that the Australian Aborigines have used the white powder of this tree to paint their faces.
Lignotuber: E. elliptica forms a lignotuber (which is a good thing); it regenerates off the root system should it be cut down by man, beast or nature. E. elliptica responds to pruning, pollarding and coppicing
How to use in the landscape and/or garden:
- Good Specimen Tree for the wider landscape/for the medium to large garden.
- Good choice for an arboretum or tree collection: would look stunning planted in groups of 3 or 5.
- Could be grown in a smaller sized garden if regularly coppiced to control its growth.
Shoots 'n Leaves: Young shoots are a delightful soft pink turning blue-green and glaucous (waxy)
Juvenile foliage: glaucous, beautiful blue-green and shades of violet purple, ovate to elliptical, 2–10 cm long, 2–6 cm wide
Adult foliage: can be matt or glossy blue-green/green, lanceolate to falcate (spear to sickle shaped), 7–20 cm long, 1.3–3 cm wide
Bark: smooth and tactile, with pale rose pink, pale gold, amber and pewter highlights, becoming striking chalk white and very powdery with time. In its native environment, the bark is sometimes marked by black horizontal lines, but unlikely to occur in the UK as these are caused by Australian insects (which fortunately we don't have!). Sheds gently in short ribbons and flakes. This powder (white plant wax) when touched, comes off on your hands.
Flowers: white in groups of 7
Leaf Aroma: strong fruity aroma
Rate of Growth: moderate for a Euc.
Height in maturity, if left unpruned: approx. 15-20 m - about the size of a Silver Birch tree. Can be managed by pruning and coppicing and if pruned will take on the size and shape of a species rose or coppiced Hazel tree. Coppicing could take place one in every 5-8 years.
Hardiness: tolerant of -8 °C as a young tree. Could possibly tolerate -10 to -14°C with increasing age and in a non-exposed environment - definitely worth trying. Would be very happy growing anywhere below a line drawn between Gloucester and London and anywhere with a sheltered microclimate.
Planting Position and Soil Preference: Full sun. Prefers free-draining acidic soils, sandy, gravelly soils.
Make life easier for you and your new tree: Plant with the mycorrhizal fungi product Rootgrow. Eucalyptus in particular have a special, lifelong relationship with their root fungi, the latter of which actively transport food and water directly into the tree roots, helping your new Euc establish faster and more efficiently, particularly in challenging types of soil.
Meaning of the name: Eucalyptus elliptica: botanical Latin ellipticus, elliptical, refers to the fruit shape (according to original description in Blakely 1934).
Note: Eucalyptus elliptica is closely related to the E. mannifera complex of species and within that group is probably closest to the more southerly E. mannifera subsp. Gullickii; hence it sometimes being named Eucalyptus mannifera subsp. elliptica