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Home > Resources> Garden Solutions > Eucalyptus Understory

Eucalyptus Understory
 

In 1993 San Marcos Growers hosted its 4th Field Day. Bob Perry spoke on "Plants for Western Regions", Dave Fross, Native Sons Nursery, spoke on "Planting in and Amongst the Oaks" and Randy Baldwin spoke on "The Eucalyptus Understory". The following list was developed for Randy's talk and has been a popular requested list ever since. The list is broken into two parts; those plants that have been observed growing under Eucalyptus and those that, although not observed, should perform under these trees.

When planting under Eucalyptus, the primary factor limiting a successful planting is competition. The chemical compounds in the leaves have long been thought to prevent the growth of other plants, but this now considered minor in comparison to the inability of most plants to compete with Eucalyptus for water and nutrients. However, it is difficult to establish any plant under large Eucalyptus, particularly trees such as Blue Gum (Eucalyptus globulus) because of the shear quantity of biomass that can accumulate when leaves and bark are shed. Small plants can simply be smothered under this litter.

The List Footnote Key

* General observations (many concurring observations)
(P) From Bob Perry's Landscape Plants for Western Regions
(S) Sunset Western Garden Book List
(NS) Native Sons Nursery (Dave Fross) observations in sandy soil
(CLCA) California Landscape Contractors Association List
(H) Observations made at theHuntington Botanic Garden (Kathy Musial)
(RE) Plants for Dry Shade from Rodger Elliot and David Jones' Encyclopaedia of Australian Plants

The following plants have been noted as good candidates for the Eucalyptus understory

A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z


A
Abelia grandiflora (S)
Abutilon hybridum (S)
Acacia baileyana *
Acacia boormanii *
Acacia cultriformis *
Acacia glaucoptera (RE)
Acacia longifolia *
Acacia pravissima (RE)
Acacia verticillata (RE)
Acanthus mollis (S)
Achillea millefolium (NS)
Aesculus california (NS)
Agapanthus orientalis *(S)
Aloe (many species) *
Amaryllis belladona (S)
Aptenia cordifolia *
Arctostaphylos 'Carmel Sur' (NS)
Arctostaphylos (S)
Arctostaphylos pajaroensis' (NS)
Aspidistra elatior (S)
Arctostaphylos rudis (NS)

B
Bamboo (many species) * (S)
Banksia integrifolia *
Banksia marginata (RE)
Banksia spinulosa (RE)
Bergenia cordifolia (S)
Bougainvillea (S)

C
Calamagrostis foliosus (NS)
Callistemon 'Little John' *
Callistemon citrinus 'Jeffersii' *
Callistemon citrinus *
Callistemon flavovirens *
Callistemon salignus *
Calothamnus quadrifidus * (RE)
Carpenteria californica *
Cassia artemesioides (H)
Cassia phyllodenia (H)
Ceanothus 'Wheeler Canyon' (NS)
Ceanothus arboreus (NS)
Centranthus ruber *
Cercocarpus betuloides (NS)
Chamelaucium uncinatum *
Chorizema cordatum (RE)
Cistus (CLCA)
Clivia miniata * (S)
Cocculus laurifolius * (S)
Cordyline stricta (RE)
Correa 'Dusky Bells' *
Correa 'Ivory Bells' *
Correa pulchella *
Correa schlechtendalii *
Cortaderia selloana *
Cotoneaster lacteus *
Cotoneaster buxifolius(glaucophyllus) *
Cotoneaster dammeri *
Cotoneaster salicifolius *
Crassula argentea * (S)
Crassula multicava *
Crinum * (S)
Cytisus (S, CLCA)

D
Delosperma (S)
Dietes vegeta, *
Distictis *
Dovyalis caffra *
Drosanthemum (S)

E
Echium fastuosum * (S)
Elymus condensatus 'Canyon Prince' (NS)
Endymion (Scilla) hispanicus (S)
Eremophila maculata * (RE)
Erigononum giganteum (NS)
Euryops pectinatus (H)

F
Fascicularia pitcarinifolia *
Fatsia japonica (S)
Fremontodendron mexicanum (S)

G
Geranium (S,CLCA)
Grevillea 'Canberra Gem' *
Grevillea 'Poorinda Constance' *
Grevillea lanigera *
Grevillea victoria *
Grevillea wilsonii (NS)

H
Hakea laurina * (S)
Hakea suaveolens (S)
Hardenbergia violacea *
Hedera * (S)
Hemerocallis (S, CLCA)
Heteromeles arbutifolia *
Heuchera maxima (NS)

I
Isomeris arborea (NS)

J
Jasminum mesnyi *
Juniperus (many varieties) *

L
Lampranthus (S)
Leptospermum brevipes (NS)
Leptospermum horizontalis *
Leptospermum laevigatum *
Ligustrum japonicum * (S)
Liriope (S)
Lomandra longifolia *
Lonicera japonica 'Halliana' (S)

M
Macrozamia *
Mahonia aquifolium 'Compacta' * (NS)
Mahonia aquifolium 'Skylark' (NS)
Mahonia aquifolium (NS)
Melaleuca fulgens (NS)
Melaleuca nesophila *
Melaleuca wilsonii (NS)
Muhlenbergia rigens (NS)
Myoporum laetum * (S)
Myoporum parvifolium (H)
Myrica californica (NS)

N
Nandina domestica (CLCA)
Nerium oleander (P)

P
Pelargonium (S, CLCA)
Penstemon (CLCA)
Philadelphus mexicanus *
Philodendron selloum (S)
Phormium tenax * (S)
Pittosporum eugenioides (S)
Pittosporum tobira *
Pittosporum undulatum *
Plectranthus (many species) *
Prunus ilicifolia (S)

Q
Quercus agrifolia (NS)

R
Rhamnus californica 'Eve Case' (NS)
Rhamnus californica (NS)
Rhamnus californica (S)
Rhaphiolepis umbellata *
Rhus ovata (S)
Ribes indecorum (NS)
Ribes sanguineum glutinosum (NS)
Ribes speciosum (NS)
Ribes viburnifolium (NS)
Rosa californica (NS)
Rosmarinus officinalis * (CLCA)

S
Salvia leucophylla (NS)
Sarcococca ruscifolia *
Sedum *
Sollya heterophylla *
Spartium (S, CLCA)
Spirea sp. (S)

V
Viburnum tinus (S)

W
Westringia 'Wynyabbie Gem' *
Westringia fruticosa *
Westringia longifolia *
Wigandia caracasana (S)

X
Xanthorrhoea *
Xylosma senticosa (S)

These were not observed or reported but are probably worth a try:

Alstroemeria
Aristea ecklonii
Asparagus (many varieties)
Asplenium bulbiferum
Berberis darwinii
Billbergia nutans
Ceanothus sp.
Cissus antartica
Coprosma kirkii
Cycads (many species)
Dianella tasmanica
Dizygotheca
Duchesnea indica
Escallonia (many varieties)
Euonymus japonicus
Fatshedera lizei
Galvesia speciosa
Helleborus lividus corsicus
Iris douglasiana
Iris foetidissima
Keckiella cordifolia
Mackaya bella
Mimulus hybrids
Muehlenbeckia complexa
Nephrolepis exaltata
Olmedeilla betchlerana
Ophiopogon clarkii
Ophiopogon japonicus
Prunus lyonii
Rhamnus alaternus
Rhoicissus capensis
Rhus integrifolia
Ribes viburnifolium
Rubus parviflorus
Ruscus aculeatus
Ruscus hypoglossum
Sanseveria trifasciata
Setcreasea pallida
Styrax occidentalis var. fulvescens
Symphorocarpus mollis
Thalictrum sp.
Tradescantia
Trachelium caeruleum
Umbellularia california
Vinca major
Zephyranthes candida