|E. platypus, field distribution|
Eucalyptus platypus, also known as moort or round-leaved moort, is a small tree which occurs in an area between Albany and Esperance in Western Australia. The Noongar names for the tree are Maalok or Moort.
It is a mallee tree that typically grows to a height of 1.5 to 10 metres (5 to 33 ft) and a width of 5 to 10 metres (16 to 33 ft). The canopy of the tree is dense and rounded and the disjunct glossy, green or grey-green, coriaceous and concolorous leaves have a elliptical to orbicular shape. The bark is smooth and light brown, grey brown or copper ageing to grey. It is usually single stemmed and forms thickets, it can form a poorly developed lignotuber, but this is often absent. A distinctive feature of this species are its elongated flat peduncles which are about 3 centimetres (1.2 in) long and 1 cm (0.39 in) wide. These are referred to in its specific name platypus which is derived from the Greek words πλατύς (platy: flat, broad) and πους (pous: foot). The peduncles support stalkless buds with long, conical caps in clusters of up to seven. These are followed by greenish-yellow (or occasionally white, cream or (rarely) red) flowers in spring and summer which are to some degree obscured by the dense foliage.
Each simple conflorescence has an axillary arrangement and the buds have a cylindrical or rostrate shape with a calyx calyptrate that sheds early. It eventually forms pyriform or turbinate fruits with a flat disc and exserted valves.
There are currently two recognized subspecies of Eucalyptus platypus:
Two former subspecies are now classified as species in their own right. Eucalyptus platypus var. heterophylla Blakely is currently Eucalyptus utilis Brooker & Hopper and Eucalyptus platypus var. nutans (F.Muell.) Benth. is currently Eucalyptus nutans (F. Muell.)
- Eucalyptus obcordata Turcz. (1851)
It is found on plains and hilly, rocky country in the Great Southern and Goldfields-Esperance regions of Western Australia where it grows in sandy, loam or clay soils often around laterite. It extends from coastal areas and is seen as far west as Broomehill to Ravensthorpe in the east.
The species is considered as a weed on the Eyre Peninsula where it is known to invade disturbed areas of native vegetation. The dense low-growing foliage then prevents growth of understorey species.
The fast growing species is sold commercially and is well suited to heavy soils. It is resistant to frost and drought, will tolerate water logging and smog. They are ideal for coppicing and respond well to pruning. The bushy nature of the plant make it well suited for use as a windbreak and the floriferous nature make it useful for beekeepers and honey production.
- "Noongar names for plants". kippleonline.net. Archived from the original on 2 August 2017. Retrieved 4 December 2016. Cite uses deprecated parameter
- "Eucalyptus platypus". FloraBase. Western Australian Government Department of Parks and Wildlife.
- "Eucalyptus platypus (Moort)". Mallee native plants nursery. 15 January 2007. Retrieved 21 October 2017.
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- R. H. Groves (1994). Australian Vegetation. Cambridge University Press. ISBN 9780521424769.
- "Platypus Gum". Trees & Shrubs Weed profiles & Native alternatives. Lower Eyre Pest Management Group. Retrieved 21 October 2017.
- Holliday, I and Watton, G (1980) A Gardener's Guide to Eucalypts. Rigby.
- "Eucalyptus platypus Hook". Australian Plant Name Index (APNI), IBIS database. Centre for Plant Biodiversity Research, Australian Government.
- Encyclopedia of Stanford Trees, Shrubs, and Vines: Eucalyptus platypus