Limestone marlock (Eucalyptus decipiens)
Limestone marlock — also called ‘redheart’, for its red heartwood — is widely distributed, occurring from the south coast to Eneabba and beyond. ‘Marlock’ refers to a eucalypt of small size, and limestone marlock is only 5-15 metres tall.
Whereas in the south of its range it occurs on a variety of soils, in the Perth area it occurs almost entirely in the coastal limestone belt, often where the limestone is quite near the surface and the soil too shallow for tuart.
In a hot fire, limestone marlock is killed above ground, but it has a well developed lignotuber, from which it typically sends up several stems to regrow as a mallee. Even if unburnt, it will often grow one or two new strong stems from near its base or from its lignotuber.
© Text and photographs: Robert Powell