Eucalyptus rodwayii - Swamp Peppermint
Swamp Peppermint. A larger growing Eucalyptus that is quite rare in the UK but is one of the few that will grow happily in wetter soils and cold sites.
Why we like this variety:-
- A moderately sized evergreen tree with rich green foliage, which looks comfortable in the British landscape
- Nicely shaped specimen that responds well to pruning, as desired
- Grows in swampy boggy ground or normal soils - will dry up ground making it more usable
- Very easy to grow
Botanical Name: Eucalyptus rodwayi MYRTACEÆ; Myrtle Family
Common Name: The Swamp Peppermint
Status: Evergreen Tree
Origin: Tasmania, endemic to the Central Plateau and eastward toward the coast in the swampy, moisture rich valley bottoms
Processing, shipping & dispatch
Nursery Notes 2020: Spring
Mature 3rd year stock in 3 and 5 litre pots is looking fabulous with sturdy trunks
Young 3 litre stock available now between 60cm and 150cm tall
12 litre and 45 litre multistemmed bushes ready
Fabulous Standards in 12 litre and 20 litre stock available now
Description, habit, uses and attributes:
Related to E. aggregata of Australia, we find that in the nursery E. rodwayi is a slightly more vigorous, larger tree; both are very hardy. Nicely shaped specimen tree, arranging and holding its lower branches well.
Lignotuber: it has one, which is a good thing! E. rodwayi will regenerate off the lignotuber if cut down by man, beast or nature.
How to use in the landscape and/or garden:
Good Specimen Tree for the landscape, large garden or arboretum. Rarely seen in the UK and deserves wider planting as a solitary specimen, avenue or in groups. Good choice if you need a 'non-foreign' looking evergreen tree, especially for wet soils and cold locations. Happy on ordinary soils too.
How to grow: train up as a standard tree or when the trunk is about 50 mm in diameter, coppice near ground level and re-grow as an effective multi-stem
Firewood Production: Not only is E. rodwayi a good ornamental tree; more recently it is being considered for sustainable forestry fuel production as a short rotation forestry subject. This eucalyptus is resilient to poor growing conditions, has a vigorous nature and responds well to coppicing practices. Similarly anyone with a spare piece of ground, small holding or farm can utilise E. rodwayi to produce a crop of hardwood firewood logs with very high calorific value, in a relatively short period of time: 5-8 years from planting.
Rural/Agricultural - Hedges Screens Windbreaks: can be planted to grow as a shelter belt/windbreak tree. In the cold sites of southern New Zealand, E. rodwayi is planted as a windbreak species, on wet ground with a high water table. In Tasmania, it grows at high altitudes. Also worth trialling as a tree to plant if you want to drain pasture-land for grazing livestock and horses. If you have a field that tends to be a little bit too wet even during the summer or prone to flooding in the winter months, it may be worth planting E. rodwayi and see if it improves the ground. It will also provide sun shade for the livestock and could also act as a windbreak.
Ecology: flowers are useful to bees and other pollinating insects
Environmental: as a swamp gum, E. rodwayi is happy in wet ground and will draw on surplus ground water all year round (this obviously peaks during the summer months). One of our customers relayed a tale to us about how a mature E. rodwayi eventually drained a substantial area of unusable ground prone to seasonal flooding (such that a boat was kept moored nearby), making the land usable again: they were very pleased with it and the boat has finally gone!
Shoots 'n Leaves: Young shoots, chestnut and bronze turning to green with some carmine.
Juvenile foliage: narrow, strap-like and similar to the adult foliage in glossy holly green
Adult foliage: narrowly lanceolate and slender 5-12cm long by 1-1.5cm wide in a glossy, deep holly green
Bark: Fibrous and textured (vertically), pewter grey and coffee brown on the trunk and main branches, leading to smooth chalk white on smaller branches. The outer layer of the lower bark is crumbly, with harder bark beneath.
Flowers: white flowers, small, in clusters of 7, 9 or 11
Leaf Aroma: typical fresh Eucalyptus
Rate of Growth: moderately fast at around 1.5 m per annum
Height in maturity - 50 years, if left unpruned: Around 20m -25m but responds well to pruning
Hardiness: very hardy, generally tolerating from -14°C down to -16°C, may be even -18°C, with age (depending on how exposed or sheltered the site). One of the hardiest swamp gums. Hardiness improves with age; young trees are more susceptible to frost damage at low temperatures.
Planting Position and Soil Preference: Easy to grow. High adaptable; will grow in poor, stony ground, but also tolerates cold, wet locations, such as clay soils prone to seasonal flooding. Prefers a sunny spot. Both E. aggregata and E. rodwayi thrive at Grafton in our swampy yellow alkaline clay soil.
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: Named after Leonard Rodway (1853-1936) of the British Royal Navy, later dentist in Hobart and more importantly Honorary Botanist to the Tasmanian Government for 36 years.
Notes: E. rodwayi differs from E. aggregata (native of Victoria and New South Wales) in that the former is slightly taller in stature, has longer juvenile leaves and larger flower buds and fruit. E. rodwayi is also related to E. ovata and E. brookeriana.
Another confusing fact about Eucs:- Despite the common name Swamp Peppermint, this species is not related to the traditional group of 'peppermint' eucalypts.....what can I say?