Plants of
South Australia
Eucalyptus albopurpurea
Port Lincoln Mallee,
Purple-flowered Mallee Box
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Regional Species Conservation Assessments per IBRA subregion.
Least concern
Near threatened
Critically endangered
Data deficient
Coober Pedy
Mount Gambier
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Botanical art

Kath Alcock paintings: 2

Prior names

Eucalyptus odorata var. purpurascens

Eucalyptus hemiphloia var. purpurascens

Eucalyptus behriana var. purpurascens

Eucalyptus odorata var. erythrandra

Eucalyptus lansdowneana var. leucantha

Eucalyptus lansdowneana ssp. albopurpurea

Common names

Port Lincoln Mallee

Purple-flowered Mallee Box


Eucalyptus from the Greek 'eu' meaning well and 'calyptos' meaning covered, alluding to the cap or lid which covers the stamens in the bud. Albopurpurea from the Latin 'albus' meaning white and 'purpureus' meaning purple, referring to the variable colour of the flowers of the species.

Distribution and status

Endemic to South Australia and found on southern Eyre Peninsula and Kangaroo Island growing near the coast on sandhills and fringes of seasonally wet sites. Native. Uncommon in South Australia.
Herbarium regions: Eyre Peninsula, Kangaroo Island
AVH map: SA distribution map (external link)

Plant description

Mallee or sometimes tree-like to 18 m tall with rough, loose, grey-brown bark becoming ribbony on lower stems and smooth, coppery to pinkish-grey above. Juvenile leaves opposite for a few pairs; ovate, dull-green. Adult leaves ovate to lanceolate, to 130 mm long and 35 mm wide; glossy green. Flowers axillary or appearing terminal in umbels with 7-11 flowers. Buds fusiform to clavate to 11 mm long & 5 mm wide; bud-cap conical, smooth, shorter than the bud-base. Flowers white to pink- scarlet (or purple on Eyre Peninsula only). Flowers in winter and spring. Fruits are woody barrel-shaped fruit to 11 mm long and 9 mm wide; smooth, angular towards the base. Seeds are brown ovoid seed to 1.5 mm long and 1 mm wide, with fine mesh-like surface. Seed embryo type is folded.

Seed collection and propagation

Collect seeds between January and December. Collect mature fruits that are dark and hard (difficult to break with a finger nail), with the valves un-open any time of year. Leave the fruits in a breathable container in a dry room for one to two weeks. This allows the valves on the fruit to open and release the seeds. Separate the seeds by placing all the materials into a bucket and shaking it to dislodge the seeds. Pass the material through a sieve to separate the unwanted material. The finer material will contain both seeds (soft) and frass (hard) usually distinguishable from each other but can be very similar in shape and colour. With finer sieves, the seeds can be separated from the frass but this is not essential for storage or propagation. Store the seeds with a desiccant such as dried silica beads or dry rice, in an air tight container in a cool and dry place. From one collection, the seed viability was high, at 90%. Seeds are non-dormant, viable seed should germinate readily.

Seeds stored:
LocationNo. of seeds
(weight grams)
of plants
Collection number
Collection location
% ViabilityStorage
10,200 (3.37 g)
11,100 (3.67 g)
Kangaroo Island
Location: BGA — the seeds are stored at the Adelaide Botanic Gardens, MSB — the seeds are stored at the Millennium Seed Bank, Kew, England.
Number of plants: This is the number of plants from which the seeds were collected.
Collection location: The Herbarium of South Australia's region name.
% Viability: Percentage of filled healthy seeds determined by a cut test or x-ray.