Guide Kerry’s plant of the month for March

Eucalyptus kruseana, also known as the bookleaf mallee, is a distinctive multi-branched shrub which blooms in the late summer through to June or July.

The leaf arrangement, leaf colour and flowers are all eye-catching features which make it admired and sought after by home gardeners across southern Australia.

The small, rounded, greyish and waxy white leaves hug closely to the stem in opposite pairs and attractive densely-packed yellow green flowers peep out from between the leaves in groups of seven.

Unlike most other eucalypt species, bookleaf mallee maintains its juvenile leaves throughout the life of the plant.

As its common name suggests, it is a mallee, so it grows several trunks and forms a lignotuber or mallee root, enabling it to regenerate after a bush fire.

In Kings Park, it can be seen on the carpark side of the mound, next to the entrance to Aspects or in the garden near the Zamia café.

Although rare in the wild, it occurs in small populations to the east and southeast of Kalgoorlie in Western Australia.

The type specimen was collected near Kalgoorlie in 1909 by Henry Deane, an engineer surveying the route for the transcontinental railway and was named by Ferdinand von Mueller after John Kruse, a German-born pharmacist from Melbourne.