Agonis flexuosa (Peppermint tree)
Species: A. flexuosa
Binomial name: Agonis flexuosa
Common name: Agonis, Western Australian peppermint, Swan River peppermint, Peppermint tree, Peppermint myrtle, Willow myrtle, River myrtle
Agonis flexuosa is a species of tree in the myrtle family that is endemic to the south west of Western Australia.
Agonis flexuosa occurs mainly as a small and robust tree, usually less than 10 metres tall, although it may grow to 15 metres. It has fibrous brown bark, long narrow dull-green leaves, and tightly clustered inflorescences of small white flowers in the axes. It grows in a weeping habit and looks remarkably like the weeping willow from a distance. Leaves are narrow and reach a length of 150mm. It is most readily identified by the powerful odour of peppermint emitted when the leaves are crushed or torn.
It flowers between August and December. The fruit is a hard capsule, 3 – 4 mm across, with three valves containing many small seeds.
This species of tree is a host of the rust fungus Austropuccinia psidii (Myrtle rust). An infected tree was found in New Plymouth’s Pukekura Park in January 2018.
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