Photo: Australian National Botanic Gardens


Photo (below): Australian National Botanic Gardens

The broad leaf peppermint is part of the group of plants called angiosperms, which includes all flowering plants and plants that produce true fruits.  The Latin root of the name “Eucalyptus” translates to mean “well-covered”, which describes the protective opercula, or bud cap coverings, of the plants’ flowers. 

The bisexual flowers of E. dives are white with brightly-colored antheridia (pollen-producing structures within the flowers) and produce an attractive aroma to lure insect pollinators.  These insects feed on the flowers’ nectar and facilitate cross-pollinationA lorikeet parrot feeds on nectar from eucalyptus flowers. by carrying pollen from flower to flower on different trees.  A Lorikeet parrot may occasionally be seen feeding on eucalyptus nectar, as well.  Once pollinated, the flower ovary develops into small fruits that look like golden yellow berries in the early season and develop into clusters of conical, cup-shaped fruits containing seeds.  Each fruit capsule may contain many seeds, but only a small fraction of the seeds are embryonic in function.  The rest are thought to provide nutrition or protection to the developing embryonic seeds. 

See how these reproductive strategies affect these plants' Classification.

                                                                                                                                 Photo(above): Steve Happ

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