Eucalyptus occidentalis var. eremophila Diels
Eucalyptus eremophila usually grows in a multi-stemmed mallee form from a lignotuber, although single-stemmed individuals do occur. It typically grows to a height of 2 to 8 metres (7 to 26 ft) and a width of 4 to 8 metres (13 to 26 ft) with a dense, spreading to upright habit and an open canopy. The bark is smooth and polished, shedding in late summer. The new bark is yellowish brown, maturing to just brown of gray. The glossy, grey-green, thick, concolorous, stiff adult leaves have a disjunct arrangement. The leaf blade has a narrow lanceolate or elliptic shape that is basally tapered. Leaves are supported by narrowly flattened or channelled petioles.
The mallee blooms between August and December producing conflorescences with cream-yellow-pink flowers. Each simple, axillary conflorescence is made up of three to seven flowered umbellasters narrowly flattened or angular peduncles. Buds form that are rostrate with a calyx calyptrate which sheds early. The fruits that form later are cylindrical or pyriform with a depressed disc and exserted valves. The fruit and flowers vary, but have a long tapering bud cap.
German botanist Ludwig Diels described the Eastern Goldfields horned mallee as a subspecies of Eucalyptus occidentalis in 1904, material comprising the type specimen collected in Coolgardie district by Ernst Georg Pritzel and Gilmore. The epithet eremophila means "desert-loving". Joseph Maiden raised it to species status in 1921.
It is found on undulating plains, hills and sand dunes in the Wheatbelt and Goldfields-Esperance region of Western Australia where it grows in skeletal sandy soils over granite. It is found as far north west as Quairading in the central Wheatbelt to the western edge of the Nullarbor Plain in the south east.
The species is associated with the western mallee subgroup which is characterised by several eucalypts including Eucalyptus oleosa, Eucalyptus moderata, Eucalyptus incrassata, Eucalyptus foecunda, Eucalyptus redunca and Eucalyptus uncinata. The understorey is predominantly shrubby with species of Melaleuca and Acacia along with the occasional Triodia.
The plant is sold commercially in the form of seed or tube stock as an ornamental plant but is also used as an erosion control, windbreak or shade plant for wide verges, nature strips or parks and reserves. It prefers a full sun position and is regarded as quite hardy being drought tolerant and able to withstand a moderate frost. It grows in neutral to acid soils and can be grown in coastal areas. It is also a good habitat for birds and attracts them with its nectar. The seeds germinate readily.
- "Eucalyptus eremophila". Australian Plant Name Index (APNI), IBIS database. Centre for Plant Biodiversity Research, Australian Government, Canberra. Retrieved 5 January 2013.
- "Eucalyptus eremophila (Diels) Maiden". FloraBase. Western Australian Government Department of Parks and Wildlife.
- "Eucalyptus eremophila Sand mallee". Windmill Outback Nursery. Retrieved 3 December 2017.
- "Eucalyptus eremophila Tall Sand Mallee". Plant Selector. Botanic Gardens of South Australia. Retrieved 3 December 2017.
- "Eucalyptus eremophila". Eucalink. Royal Botanic Gardens, Sydney. Retrieved 3 December 2017.
- "Eucalyptus occidentalis var. eremophila Diels". Australian Plant Name Index (APNI), IBIS database. Centre for Plant Biodiversity Research, Australian Government, Canberra. Retrieved 10 January 2013.
- "Open mallee woodlands and sparse mallee woodlands" (PDF). Commonwealth of Australia. Retrieved 6 May 2017.
- Holliday, I. A field guide to Australian trees (3rd edition), Reed New Holland, 2002
- Cronin, L. Key Guide to Australian Trees, Envirobook, 2000