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The pointed mallee or red mallee (Eucalyptus socialis) (sense 3)


Etymology 1Edit

Probably borrowed from Wemba-Wemba mali; compare Woiwurrung mali.


mallee (plural mallees)

  1. (Australia) A type of scrubland with low-growing thick eucalypts, characteristic of certain parts of Australia. [from 19th c.]
    • 1994, R. F. Parsons, “Eucalyptus Scrubs and Shrublands”, in R. H. Groves, editor, Australian Vegetation, 2nd edition, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, →ISBN, page 301:
      The ecology of much Western Australian mallee is poorly understood, so only a few general points can be made here. Mallee dominated by eucalypts including Eucalyptus redunca and E. eremophilia is mapped as widespread (Beard, 1975) on areas of brown calcareous earths north of Esperance (Northcote et al., 1967).
    • 2002, Ross A. Bradstock; Janet S. Cohn, “Fire Regimes and Biodiversity in Semi-arid Mallee Ecosystems”, in Ross A. Bradstock, Jann E. Williams, and A. Malcolm Gill, editors, Flammable Australia: The Fire Regimes and Biodiversity of a Continent, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, →ISBN, page 238, column 2:
      Large areas of mallee shrublands are now either reserved specifically for biodiversity conservation or else managed sympathetically. Fire is a prominent feature of the semi-arid lands in general and the mallee shrublands in particular.
  2. (Australia) Any semi-desert region of Australia where such scrub is the predominant vegetation. [from 19th c.]
    • 1867 December, A. M., “Lost in the Mallee”, in The Colonial Monthly; an Australian Magazine, volume I (New Series), number 4, Melbourne, Vic.: Clarson, Massina, & Co., printers and publishers, 72 Little Collins Street East. Sydney firm: Gibbs, Shallard, & Co., published 1868, OCLC 37164627, page 305:
      The great heat of the Mallee, far exceeding in intensity anything of the kind I had previously experienced, is due to the dense and impenetrable foliage overhead, rendered still more dense underneath by numberless varieties of interlacing vines, which intercepting any stray current of air effectually check ventilation. Although not totally destitute of animal life, in the summer season very few living creatures, beyond innumerable tribes of insects, are to be found within the Mallee.
    • 1958, E. O. Schlunke, The Village Hampden: Stories, Sydney, N.S.W.: Angus & Robertson, OCLC 11060168:
      'They're going to lynch you, Regerson,' Harry told him, grinning. 'You'd better take to the mallee before they come for you.'
    • 1985, Peter Carey, chapter 4, in Illywhacker, St. Lucia, Qld.: University of Queensland Press, →ISBN; republished Faber and Faber, 2003, →ISBN, page 365:
      It made no difference that he had also invented several ploughs and a device for grubbing Mallee country or that people had journeyed all the way from Melbourne to inspect them.
  3. (Australia) Any of several low-growing eucalypts characteristic of such scrubland, especially Eucalyptus dumosa, Eucalyptus oleosa, and Eucalyptus socialis. [from 19th c.]
    • 1851 January, Thomas Anderson, “On a New Species of Manna from New South Wales. [...] (From the Edinburgh New Philosophical Journal for July, 1849.)”, in Papers and Proceedings of the Royal Society of Van Diemen's Land, volume I, part III, [Hobart], Tasmania: [Royal Society of Van Diemen's Land]; sold by Walch & Son, booksellers, Hobart Town; Henry Dowling, bookseller, Launceston, OCLC 2977310, pages 242–243:
      An immense tract of country in this district is entirely occupied by a "scrub," as it is called in Colonial language, consisting of the mallee plant, Eucalyptus dumosa, the leaves of which at certain seasons become covered with this species of manna, which is known to the natives by the name of Lerp, the l being pronounced like the Italian gl. [] "The Blacks say the lerp is not in any way produced by an insect, but that it is a spontaneous production of the mallee or gum-scrub when very young, say a foot or eighteen inches high, and that it grows on either side of the leaf; that old mallee, or mallee about eighteen inches high, does not produce lerp. Therefore, this year they have burned as much of the mallee as they could to admit of the young mallee springing up."
    • 1859, John Cairns, “Art. V.—On the Weir Malleè, a Water-yielding Tree, the Bulrush, and Porcupine Grass of Australia. [...] [Read before the Institute, 16th June, 1858.]”, in John Macadam, editor, Transactions of the Philosophical Institute of Victoria, volume III, Melbourne, Vic.: Philosophical Institute of Victoria, OCLC 173352986, page 32:
      The water-yielding Eucalyptus is one of the many species which pass under the name of Eucalyptus Dumosa, extending from the desert tributaries of the Murray, westward, as far as Swan River, constituting those almost impenetrable scrubs called Malleè. [] The existence of the Weir Malleè with its invaluable supply of water, is universally known by old bushmen, though I have met with some who never saw it to know it positively, not having taken the trouble to find out from the blacks which really is the tree.
  4. (botany, Australia) The growth habit of certain eucalypt species that grow with multiple stems springing from an underground lignotuber, shared by species of related genera.
    • 1978 June, Eliseo O. Mariani; Warren A. Wood; Paul C. Kouchoukos; Mary Beth Minton; Marelco, Inc., “Introduction” and “The Eucalypts”, in The Eucalyptus Energy Farm: Feasibility Study and Demonstration: Phase 1: Site and Species Selection (HCP/T2557-01), Washington, D.C.: Division of Solar Technology, Office of Energy Technology, United States Department of Energy, OCLC 4093594:
      [page 1-4, section 1.3] Of the many variations in form of the Eucalyptus (shrubs, mallees, trees, etc.), virtually all species being tested in the above category are those which exhibit good tree form (e.g., height, straightness of trunk, etc.).
      [page 2-1, section 2.2] Shrubby eucalypts are usually referred to as "mallees" although the term strictly applies to those species which have many stems growing from an enlarged rootstock (lignotuber).
    • 1994, R. F. Parsons, “Eucalyptus Scrubs and Shrublands”, in R. H. Groves, editor, Australian Vegetation, 2nd edition, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, →ISBN, page 292:
      Eucalypts with a mallee growth form can also be found in areas wetter than those already considered and where single-stemmed eucalypts predominate. This occurs in a variety of unfavourable habitats, either by normally single-stemmed eucalypts assuming a mallee habit (e.g., E. baxteri) or by the occurrence of distinct wet-country mallees of restricted distribution specific to such habitats.
Derived termsEdit

Etymology 2Edit

See mali.


mallee (plural mallees)

  1. (India, South Asia) Alternative spelling of mali (a native gardener).
    • 1840, G. T. Frederic Speede, Indian Hand-book of Gardening; Containing Directions for the Management of the Kitchen and Flower Garden, etc. etc. in India: [...] To which is Added, an Hindoostanee and English Vocabulary of Horticultural and Agricultural Terms, Calcutta: W. Thacker & Co. St. Andrew's Library, OCLC 474754220, page 1:
      [H]ence the slow progress hitherto made in the cultivation of such produce of the garden as is generally held in estimation by the European portion of the community, left as it generally is, to the simple Hindoo mallee (or gardener,) it is not to be wondered at, that our bazars want what are deemed the more delicate articles of vegetable production for the table; []
    • 1848, “Report of Exhibitions of Vegetables, Fruits, Flowers and Agricultural Produce, Held at Bhaugulpore, on 11th February and 25th May, 1848. (Communicated by Major [T. E. A.] Napleton, Honorary Secretary Branch Agri-Horticultural Society.)”, in Journal of the Agricultural & Horticultural Society of India, volume VI, part II (Correspondence and Selections), number 3, Calcutta: Bishop's College Press, OCLC 648779148, page 125:
      Prizes were awarded to ten other mallees for best samples of vegetables, fruits and flowers, and last though not least we have to note, that a prize of two rupees was awarded to the mallee of Robert Fulton, Esq., of Sultangunge, for a remarkably fine bunch of grapes, clearly showing that either the soil of Mr. Fulton's garden, the climate of Sultangunge, or the skill of that gentleman's gardener, are highly favorable to the growth, and bringing to maturity of this delicious fruit.
    • 1871 November 29, “Cachar: Further Correspondence on the Subject of the Looshai Raids and the Consequent Hostilities (in Continuation of Paper, No. 398, of 1871)”, in Accounts and Papers: Thirty-six Volumes, volume X (East India—continued), [London]: Ordered, by The House of Commons, to be printed, published 28 May 1872, OCLC 941810036, page 301:
      Telegram from Collector of Sylhet to Secretary Colonel Burne, No. 221; dated the 29th November 1871. Every necessary precaution taken to arrest spread of cholera: three camps formed, one for those attacked, one for the convalescents, one for the healthy. I sent down dhobies, sweepers, cooks, and mallees, last to dig trenches for burying the dead, when burning was not possible.

Further readingEdit




  1. vocative singular of malleus