Gardening Australia

10 Eucalypt


The popularity of gum blossom perhaps reflects a greater awareness of the importance of these native trees as food and habitat for wildlife, as much as the fact that breeding and grafting techniques have led to the increased availabili­ty of garden-friendly varieties. You can now grow smaller gum trees, with spectacula­r red, pink or orange flowers, in a wide range of soils and garden conditions.

A red-flowering gum in full bloom is breathtaki­ng. And while you’re admiring its flower clusters, chances are you’ll also find buzzing, nectar-seeking insects, boisterous parrots and other native birds.

While colourful flowering gums, such as Corymbia ficifolia, Eucalyptus leucoxylon (including compact cultivar ‘Euky Dwarf’), and grafted forms ‘Summer Beauty’ and ‘Summer Red’, are highly desirable for their colourful spring and summer flowers, there are many less flamboyant species and varieties that you can enjoy for their creamy blossom, interestin­g foliage, attractive trunk and bark, and compact size. ‘Little Spotty’ is a dwarf form of the majestic brittle gum (E. mannifera), and ‘Scentuous’ is a compact form of lemon-scented gum (E. citriodora) and has cream flowers, mottled salmon pink and cream bark, and leaves with a wonderful citrus fragrance.


Pauline, Colbinabbi­n, Vic

AYes! Many mallees, for example, are small (2–3m), highly ornamental and grow very well in pots. Consider the bell-fruited mallee (Eucalyptus preissiana), which has big, beautiful yellow flowers; mottlecah (E. macrocarpa), with its large silver-grey leaves and striking red flowers; and the four-winged mallee (E. tetraptera), which has shiny, square red buds.

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