Plant of the Month: “I don’t mind at all if you call me a Mallee Boy.”
The famous song by John Williamson refers to the Mallee Region of Western Victoria an area famous for it’s stunted multi-stemmed Eucalypts known as Mallees.
The Mallee growth form is a fairly common characteristic developed across many of the Eucalypt groups with mallees being found in the Red Gum, Ironbark, Ribbon Gum and Stringybark groups. Within the upper Hunter area (Upper Hunter, Muswellbrook and Singleton Local Government areas) eight of the roughly eighty species found there are of mallee form.
Mallees in the Hunter are fairly restricted in range with Dwyer’s Mallee probably being the most common occurring throughout the Goulburn River National Park (GRNP) and others such as Eucalyptus aenea (no common name) and Broken Back Mallee (Eucalyptus fracta) only occurring in a couple of locations. With the exception of the Serpentinite Mallee they all occur in the sandstone country in the south of the region.
Serpentinite Mallee at Glenrock Station
Key to the Hunter Mallees
Broken Back Mallee
Shedding in plates or flakes
Bark shedding as ribbons
Leaf venation sub parallel
(Glenrock Station N of Ellerston)
Leaf venation not sub parallel
Narrow Leaved Mallee Ash
Bark Box like
(between Owens Gap – Scone & GRNP)