Rose of the West Blue Bush or ‘Mottlecah’
Also known simply as ‘Blue Bush’ as well as ‘Mottlecah’, Eucalyptus macrocarpa is a much underused species. Its flowers are large a brilliant red and they are uniquely attractive, backed by wonderful blue green foliage.
From the south west of Western Australia, this is naturally a rather sprawling tree, it is low growing to around 3m in height. In can be a dense growing plant, and with great foliage is attractive year round.
Flowering in spring to summer, Eucalyptus macrocarpa is a particularly ornamental species well suited to a range of landscaping uses including commercial and home garden use. A sub species, E. macrocarpa elachantha is smaller growing.
The real attraction is the flowers, the emerge from a nut like pod, deep pink to red. The nut itself can read nearly 8cm across, even after the flowers have faded they provided interest in the garden. Like a few other species Eucalyptus macrocarpa maintains a rounded glaucous leaf form, the same as their young foliage.
Foliage is elliptical in shape and grow directly on the stems of the plant.
One cultivar which known as ‘Nullarbor Lime which is a E. macrocarpa x E. pyriformis hybrid is an interesting addition. Large pale green flowers, unusual and a great feature plant.
Eucalyptus macrocarpa Care
In a sunny position and well drained soil Eucalyptus macrocarpa are long lived.
In the natural environment they will re shoot from the base after fire. In cultivation they will re shoot after pruning, an attribute that gardeners will appreciate.
Best planted in an open position, especially in cooler and more humid climates than that of their natural environment.
Once established they are rough tolerant and require very little care.
Can it be pruned ?
Yes.this is a species that does develop a lignotuber and as such should respond to hard pruning if required.
- Plant in as well drained soil in a sunny position..
- Use a low phosphate native plant fertiliser.
- Water through the first summer, once established this is drought tolerant plant.
- Stake young plants to prevent wind rock. This assists with root formation.
- Botanical Name – Eucalyptus macrocarpa ssp. macrocarpa
- Common Names – Rose of the West, Blue Bush or ‘Mottlecah’
- Country of Origin – Australia, Western Australia
- Climate Zones – Temperate, Mediterranean to Warm
- Position – Full sun to part shade
- Soil – Well drained humus rich, sandy loam.
- Height – Generally 2 – 4 metres.
- Spread – A natural spreading habit to 3 metres plus.
- Growth Rate – Slow to Medium
- Foliage – Silvery Grey.
- Flowers – Pink
- Flowering Time – Spring to summer.
- Frost tolerant – Light frosts only
- Drought tolerant – Yes once established.
Eucalyptus macrocarpa can be propagated from seed. However, unless you are looking at large numbers, buying a seedling plant will be much easier.