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Products > Angophora costata
Angophora costata - Apple Gum

Habit and Cultural Information
Category: Tree
Family: Myrtaceae (Myrtles)
Origin: Australia (Australasia)
Evergreen: Yes
Flower Color: White
Bloomtime: Spring
Synonyms: [Angophora lanceolata, Hort.]
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 and 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 each spring to expose the fresh cream to rose colored wood below. It has 6 inch long leaves 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. Trees grown in windy coastal sites can take on a more gnarled appearance with interesting character while those planted further inland grow more upright. Tolerates poor soil and moderate drought though best with occasional deep watering and tolerates 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. If Eucalyptus and Corymbia are ever to be reunited as Eucalyptus as some propose, Angophora would necessarily need to be included within the genus. 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 The information on this page is based on research conducted in our nursery library and from online sources as well as from observations made of this plant as it grows in our nursery, in the nursery's garden and in other gardens that we have observed it in. We also will incorporate comments received from others and always appreciate getting feedback of any kind from those who have additional information, particularly if this information is contrary to what we have written or includes additional cultural tips that might aid others in growing Angophora costata.