Eucalyptus orbifolia is a large shrub or small tree of multi-stemmed ‘mallee’ habit up to 8 metres high. The oval-shaped, grey-green leaves are 25-40 mm long by about 15-40 mm wide. Creamy white flowers 20-25 mm in diameter are seen mainly in winter to spring.
A distinctive feature of this species is the ‘minni ritchi’ bark. This is reddish brown in colour and continuously peels and curls outwards, exposing paler bark underneath. This feature is shared only by a few other species, one of which is Eucalyptus caesia.
Some authorities split E.orbifolia into two separate species, applying the name E. minniritchi to plants in the eastern part of the distribution.
Round-leaved Mallee is popular in cultivation because of its modest growth habit and attractive foliage and bark. However, it is best suited to climates which have a dry summer of low humidity. It tolerates extended dry conditions once established and it is tolerant of most frosts. It can be grown in a large container.
Propagation is from seed which germinates readily.
Photo: Brian Walters