mtlawleyshire’s peppermint trees

The Peppermint tree is a native of South Western Australia and in the older suburbs, it is often seen as a street tree.

When we first moved to Mt Lawley, there was a huge one in the backyard.  I loved to climb it and sit in its huge spreading branches.  From a distance, it can look like a willow because of its leaves and they way they droop, but up close and personal – they are nothing alike.

They are one of my favourite trees (though I have a feeling that all trees are my favourites.

So, today, I take you around the other way, into Mt Lawley itself rather than towards Highgate or North Perth.  And I will concentrate only on Peppermint trees.  The others will have to wait for another post 🙂  This is where I used to walk and run with my dog when I was a kid, around this area.  It’s familiar territory, and the trees are like old friends.  I mourn the tree in out backyard because it was chopped down and the huge garden is gone now, filled with a huge house that has no garden at all.  It’s very sad and short-sighted.

First – street trees to give you an idea of the entire tree.  Like many Australian trees, they are not the tidiest looking people 🙂


and I caught a wattled honeyeater on top of this tree – sadly with his back to me & before I could take another photo, he had flown off.


Leaves and branches.  They are wonderful shapes.












details of the bark and trunks:




And the reason I walked this way today was to visit the Mt Lawley Cenotaph – the war memorial.  For Australians and New Zealanders, today is a sadly special day: Anzac Day which remembers the thousands of young lives lost (when Australia had a population of 5 million) during the 1915 Gallipoli campaign .  It was also the time when Turkey became the modern nation it is today – & Ataturk paid Australians a gracious acknowledgment of his success and the terrible loss Australians had suffered: Mothers,  do not weep for your sons.  They sleep with us and we honour them.  He said something like that.  There is a statue to him in Albany, Western Australia, which is the last part of Australia the soldiers saw.

This day also commemorates the Australians lost in all wars, as well as those lives lost on the Western Front in Europe in the first of the ‘wars to end all wars’.

The peppermint trees to me, with their gnarled old limbs at least as old as that war, because this is one of the oldest parts of Perth.

So – Lest we Forget.  ‘At the going down of the sun, and in the morning, we will remember them.’

Flowering rosemary from my garden is amongst all these flowers.

and a final photo of a peppermint tree. the shape just cried out for black and white.



8 comments on “mtlawleyshire’s peppermint trees

  1. HoaiPhai says:

    You call them “untidy”, I still think Australian trees look spooky. Their shapes must have spawned some pretty good legends.


    • They don’t spook me, but then I grew up with them, and in the city. I’m not sure there’s any spooky legends about them, but I could try researching some indigineous legends. THey will all have their spirit stories – & as trees are fairly spiritual beings, that won’t surprise me. Last century – early – the author May Gibbs personified some trees in her children’s book (a total classic) Snugglepot and Cuddlepie and that had the Bad Banksia Men. I grew up in Melbourne, the eastern states, and never sawa banksia till we came over here, and though they are stunning trees, I still have that prejudice against them. I will go find some to put up on the blog and those – those you will call spooky 🙂


  2. bulldogsturf says:

    Your photos of these trees have a way of talking to one. I find they look very similar to the pepper tree or for that matter in some ways to the weeping willow. Your shots of the tree trunks take a certain amount eye for something I wish I could describe in words, the composition enhances their beauty and the branch shapes eerie at night I’m sure. Lovely photos, and the cenotaph with the flowers to remember the passing of lives heart wrenching. I love the post and photos.


    • Thank you – what a lovely thing to say about my photos! They possibly are similar to your pepper trees and one of their names is willow mrytle (’cause apparently they’re a type of myrtle) because of their superficial resemblance to the weeping willow.
      Their rough bark is filled with wonderful shapes and excellent hand & feet holds for the small human 🙂
      For me, they are a friendly tree – but always full of spiders at night. I should’ve put that in the post!


  3. niasunset says:

    Dear Keira, first of all I want to share this with you and with your readers, it is important for Turkey too this Anzac Day, and my prayers and my love for them…

    In Turkey the name “ANZAC Cove” was officially recognised by the Turkish government on Anzac Day in 1985. In 1934, Kemal Atatürk delivered the following words to the first Australians, New Zealanders and British to visit the Gallipoli battlefields. This was later inscribed on a monolith at Ari Burnu Cemetery (ANZAC Beach) which was unveiled in 1985. The words also appear on the Kemal Atatürk Memorial, Canberra, and the Atatürk Memorial in Wellington:

    “Those heroes that shed their blood And lost their lives. You are now lying in the soil of a friendly country. Therefore rest in peace. There is no difference between the Johnnies And the Mehmets to us where they lie side by side Here in this country of ours. You, the mothers, Who sent their sons from far away countries Wipe away your tears, Your sons are now lying in our bosom And are in peace After having lost their lives on this land they have Become our sons as well.”

    Dear Keira, your trees fascinated me again… There are amazing trees in your city… and also you capture such a beautiful photographs… I fall in love again and again with all these trees… Peppermint tree that I haven’t seen before, how beautiful… I just wonder do they smell?

    You did a wonderful post dear Keira, as if I was there… Thank you so much,
    with my love, nia


    • Thank you, Nia, for giving me the correct quote 🙂 He is remembered fondly here, your great Ataturk, and there is a statue to him in Albany, right down on the tip of South Western Australia. And Anzac Cove – I always thought that was a bit cheeky – it’s not Australia, after all! But a sad day – all those deaths. And all the Turkish soldiers too. I know they had ceasefires so they could attend to the dead & wounded, and both sides shared cigarettes, food and smiles.
      I am glad you liked the trees. They are like freindly giants, somehow. So untidy 🙂 And yes, they – like most Australia trees, have an an astringent smell, especially when it rains. xxx


      • niasunset says:

        “astringent ” what does it mean dear Keira, I found something in my dictionary talking some medical things, blood, etc. But you mean strongly smells…?
        These trees are so beautiful and yes very giant… I haven’t seen a tree like them in here… Love, nia


      • yes, it is a medical or a pharmacology term, but it can also mean clean and sharp, like eucalytpus oil – which comes from eucalyptus leaves – from our gum trees 🙂 The lemon-scented gum is named that because it has a meony scent to its leaves. The peppermint tree doesn’t smell lemony but sharp and clean – almost pepperminty 🙂
        And yes, teh trees look like giants, but they are considered a small tree – but their trunks grow massive and they aren’t tall. Massive instead. Keira xxx


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