Plant of the Month
Common Name: Red Flowering Gum
Distribution: Western Australia
Growth Habit: Small to medium-sized tree, up to 25-40’ tall and wide.
Cultural Requirements: These trees—formerly known by the genus Eucalyptus, but recently reclassified--grow best in well-drained soils in warm, sunny sites, especially along the coast. They are drought tolerant once established, but grow well with regular watering, too.
Features/Uses: Red flowering gums are often considered one of the world’s finest flowering trees. The flower clusters are produced most often in summer, but can occur throughout the year. Orange blooming forms and other colors occur as well. The glossy, evergreen leaves resemble oval Ficus or fig leaves, 3-5” long. Because of their dense foliage these trees are excellent visual screens.
Red flowering gums were considered a eucalyptus species, but now are recognized as merely close relatives. Rare in nature, they are native to Western Australia, which has a Mediterranean climate with winter rains and summer droughts like ours. Accordingly they are very well adapted to this area.
Bloom Time: Summer, and sporadically throughout the year.
Where at SDBG: Large specimens can be seen along Quail Gardens Drive and along the entrance drive where they have survived for many years with little water other than rainfall.
Pink Form of Flowering Gum