Eucalyptus pulchella (syn. E. linearis)
white peppermint

Myrtaceae (myrtle family)

White peppermint is a distinguished ornamental with a smooth lightcolored trunk and branches, growing to about 40 feet. Its lanceolate leaves are only about ¼ inch wide and around 4 inches long, and distinctly more delicate than the leaves of E. nicholii, the willow-leaved peppermint. The leaves of both, when crushed, have the scent of piperitone (a liquid unsaturated cyclic ketone C10H16O of camphoraceous odor found in various essential oils and used chiefly in making menthol and thymol).

The small flower buds, which come in clusters of 10 or so, have a hemispherical cap that gives them a stubby club shape. The seed capsules are 3/16 inch across, have a flat rim, and typically four depressed openings inside.

There are two large specimens viewable on the west side of Raimundo Way, between N. Tolman Drive and Peter Coutts Road, and three at the southeast corner of 563 Salvatierra Walk. The name E. linearis Dehnhardt, given in 1832, technically gives way to E. pulchella Desfontaines of 1829.

Related material: Eucalyptus checklist.

About this Entry: The main text of this entry is from the E. linearis entry in the book Trees of Stanford and Environs, by Ronald Bracewell, published 2005.