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A multi-stemmed tree-like Eucalyptus that originally grew in semi-arid parts of Australia, but is now very depleted. Capable of withstanding damage from animals, fire, and drought by resprouting as coppice from lignotubers or mallee roots. Some mallees' leaves provide high quality Eucalyptus oil. It is a slow growing tree, taking a century to grow to four inches in diameter, surviving on about 250mm of rain per year. Its wood is heavy enough to sink in water even when dried out. 200 years ago, one fifth of Australia was mallee, but they have been removed for farmland. If you want to find some ancient mallee, there are about 2000 hectares of them at Yookamurra Sanctuary. The Sanctuary contains approximately 100,000 trees over a thousand years old. In the past, mallee have been home to creatures such as hare wallabies, nailtail wallabies, woylies, and wombats, but foxes and cats have driven these animals away.


info from http://www.mallee.com/ and http://www.esl.com.au/mallee.htm

Mal"lee (?), n. [Native name.]

1. (Bot.)

A dwarf Australian eucalypt with a number of thin stems springing from a thickened stock. The most common species are Eucalyptus dumosa and E. Gracilis.

2.

Scrub or thicket formed by the mallee. [Australia]

 

© Webster 1913

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