The Narrow-leaf Peppermint (Eucalyptus radiata) is one of the more common trees of the Strathbogie Tableland. Growing on southern slopes and deep soils they can grow to 40 m. In open situations they are shorter and can grow a large crown of dense foliage, supported on large, spreading limbs. Narrow-leaf peppermints have been flowering en-masse for several weeks on the Tableland. Buds are carried for about 9 months and flowering usually occurs between September and February.E. radiata flower buds

Here the buds are full and ready to burst; below are open flowers with masses of white anthers (pollen bearing).

E. radiata flowers

E. radiata buds, caps & flowersAs the buds mature, the caps detach, becoming brown and are eventually pushed off by the expanding flower. Nectar is secreted into the cup at the flower’s base. This energy-rich food source attracts multitudes of insects and birds, including many types of honey-eater.

The sweet smell of nectar wafts pleasantly through the forest on a warm day and the best honey yields are obtained in higher rainfall country like ours. The honey is medium amber in colour and candies rapidly and is of minor to medium importance as a honey producer (Honey & Pollen Flora, Clemson 1985).

E. radiata forest, Strathbogies. E. radiata: small leaves in a dense canopy.