From the Capel LCDC – our June 2019 flowering native plant is the Eucalyptus tetraptera Four-winged Mallee or Square-fruited Mallee.
Eucalyptus tetraptera is one of the most unusual eucalypts with its spectacular, large, red buds and fruit. Commonly known as square-fruited mallee or four-winged mallee it is endemic the south coast of Western Australia. Collected in 1848 by James Drummond, the species was first formally described by the Russian botanist Nikolai Turczaninow in 1849. A popular ornamental and reasonably hardy, it grows well in full sun in semi-arid climates but is slower growing in cooler climates. Grows 1-3 metres with a similar width. Large, square red pink down-curved, oblong flowers which are square in a cross section. The adult leaves are thick and glossy green in colour. Smooth bark, dark grey, light grey and whitish grey. Pruning is essential to control growth and it can be cut back to ground level to rejuvenate. Scattered distribution is limited to coastal sandplains where it is also found among granite outcrops of southern Western Australia, north from the Stirling Ranges and south to around Albany east to Israelite Bay in the Great Southern and Goldfields-Esperance regions where it grows in white or grey sandy soils. It is smog and frost resistant and can be kept in containers. Propagation is from seed and as for most Eucalypts, the seeds will germinate readily. The plant is commercially available as seedlings or as seeds.