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Products > Angophora costata
Angophora costata - Apple Gum
Image of Angophora costata
[2nd Image]
Habit and Cultural Information
Category: Tree
Family: Myrtaceae (Myrtles)
Origin: Australia (Australasia)
Evergreen: Yes
Flower Color: White
Bloomtime: Spring
Synonyms: [A. lanceolata, Hort. Eucalyptus apocynifolia]
Height: 40-50 feet
Width: 15-20 feet
Exposure: Full Sun
Irrigation (H2O Info): Low Water Needs
Winter Hardiness: 20-25 F
Angophora costata (Apple Gum) - A beautiful fast-growing tree that typically grows to 30 to 80 with a smooth trunk with multicolored bark. The bark starts each late spring a pinkish to orange color and ages to a gray-mauve color prior to peeling off unevenly in large plates each spring to expose the fresh cream to rose colored wood below. It has 6-inch-long leaves held in opposite pairs that emerge a coppery red color and mature to a bright green color; the new red shoots of leaves are useful in floral displays. In late spring to early summer appears an abundant display of 1-inch-wide white flowers held in large clusters. The buds and fruit capsules have distinct longitudinal ribs. Trees grown in windy coastal sites can take on a more gnarled appearance with interesting character while those planted further inland grow more upright.

Plant in full sun where it tolerates poor soil and moderate drought though best with occasional deep watering and accepts wetter conditions as well. Hardy to 20 F, though younger trees are more frost sensitive. Reports of occasional limb drop indicate that careful placement of this tree in the landscape should be considered.

In Australia, where it occurs naturally on the sandy soils and stony ridges of southern Queensland forests south into Victoria and New South Wales, this tree is commonly called Smooth-barked Apple or Sydney Red Gum. The name for the genus is from the Greek words, 'angos' meaning a "vessel" or "goblet" and 'phoros' meaning "carrier" or "to bear" or "to carry" in reference to the shape of the fruits. The specific epithet is from the Latin word 'costa' meaning "a rib" in reference to the ribbed fruit. The reference to an Apple in its common name was from early observations of the appearance of the first observed species, Angophora hispida. The genus Angophora is closely allied to Eucalyptus but differs in having opposite leaves, small round petals at the base of the stamens and pointed calyx lobes instead of the cap that Eucalyptus has covering its flower buds. Unlike most Eucalyptus, the foliage of Angophora costata has no aroma. While these distinctions long allowed separation of the genus, it was determined that Angophora species were more closely related to some Eucalyptus than others in the genus were to each other, and this prompted the formation of the new genus Corymbia. The merger of Eucalyptus and Corymbia is again being proposed in Dr. Dean Nicolle's recent article Classification Of The Eucalypts, Genus Eucalyptus and Angophora would necessarily need to be included within the genus with the name Eucalyptus apocynifolia because this species name had previously been in the genus Eucalyptus. This specific epithet means "leaves like Apocynum" (AKA dogbane or Indian hemp). Until such time as this merger gets more widely recognized we will still refer to this plant as Angophora costata

In Harry Butterfield's manuscript, Dates of Introduction of Trees and Shrubs to California (UC Davis 1964) it is noted that Angophora lanceolata (an early illegitimate name used for Angophora costata) was introduced in California in 1860 by William Walker at his Golden Gate Nursery in San Francisco. It was also noted as being officially introduced, again as Angophora lanceolata, by the Bureau of Plant Industry (USDA) as BPI#124003 in 1912.The largest specimen of this species known in California is an 81-foot giant in Griffith Park in Los Angeles, as listed on the Big Tree Registry. We have sold this plant since Our plants grown from seed collected in December 2015 by arborist Ken Greby from street trees growing on Kensington Place in Pasadena, California. 

This information about Angophora costata displayed is based on research conducted in our horticultural library and from reliable online resources. We also will relate observations made about it as it grows in our nursery gardens and other gardens we have visited, as well how the crops have performed in containers in our nursery field. We will also incorporate comments that we receive from others and we welcome hearing from anyone with additional information, particularly if they can share any cultural information that would aid others in growing it.