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Products > Corymbia ficifolia
 
Corymbia ficifolia - Red-flowering Gum
   

[2nd Image]
Habit and Cultural Information
Category: Tree
Family: Myrtaceae (Myrtles)
Origin: Australia (Australasia)
Evergreen: Yes
Flower Color: Red
Bloomtime: Year-round
Synonyms: [Eucalyptus ficifolia]
Height: 25-40 feet
Width: 25-40 feet
Exposure: Full Sun
Seaside: Yes
Summer Dry: Yes
Deer Tolerant: Yes
Irrigation (H2O Info): Low Water Needs
Winter Hardiness: 25-30 F
Corymbia ficifolia [Eucalyptus ficifolia] (Red-flowering Gum) - A popular long lived evergreen tree that is noted for its attractive foliage and bountiful red (or orange, pink or rose) flower clusters. It is a dense compact-crowned tree that grows to 25-40+ feet high and is often wider than tall. It has rough, fibrous, and fissured bark that can be red-brown, black-brown, or grey-brown in color that does not shed (as some Eucalyptus do) with branches that are somewhat pendulous and hold the slightly-glossy leaves 4-6 inch long ovate leaves that are dark green above and paler green below. Most often in late summer, but also sporadically throughout the year, appear the showy flowers, usually in groups of seven, in flat-topped clusters (corymbs) at the branch tips. The flowers are followed by large woody seed capsules. Plant in full sun in a well-drained soil and irrigate regularly to get established and then infrequently after this - this is a plant of a mediterranean climate and is particularly well suited to California's coastal climate where it is seaside and drought tolerant. It is hardy to about 25 degrees F. After flowering, the weight of the seed pods left on the tree can make the branches bend, so it is suggested that the pods be cut off on young trees to prevent branch breakage. With its dense habit and dark foliage from a distance this tree does not at first look like a typical Eucalyptus and its attractiveness, smaller size and relative slow growth makes it a great specimen garden tree in coastal California gardens its bright beautiful flowers are also are very much appreciated by bees. Both its flowers and seed capsules are attractive in floral displays. Corymbia ficifolia is native to a restricted area of Western Australia, from south east of Perth and east into the Stirling Range to near Albany at the south western tip of the continent along the Great Australian Bight. This species has long been called Eucalyptus ficifolia but the genus Eucalyptus went through a major taxonomic revision in the 1995 and botanists now consider the proper name for this plant to be Corymbia ficifolia. It was first introduced into California in 1873 by Charles Schurff in Pasadena, who grew it from seed and it flowered there for the first time there in 1879. By 1900 Dr. Franceschi (AKA Emanuele Orazio Fenzi) was selling it at his Santa Barbara nursery and now, over a century later, it is a common sight throughout Santa Barbara with a spectrum of flower flowers from red, orange to pink and even white, which probably indicates hybridization with the closely related white-flowered Marri (Corymbia calophylla). A large Corymbia ficifolia in San Francisco, CA is registered as a California Big Tree. It measures 40 feet high, with a trunk circumference of 243 inches and a crown spread of 58 feet. As the plant has been common in California nursery trade we long continued to list it under its older name until such time as general recognition for its new name, Corymbia ficifolia, became accepted. Other commonly cultivated gums that are now placed in the genus Corymbia, a genus of about 90 species previously considered to be in a subgenera within the genus Eucalyptus, are the Lemon Scented Gum (now Corymbia citriodora>/a>), the Spotted Gum (now Corymbia maculata). The name for this "new" genus is in reference flowers being in corymbs which is a primary distinguishing characteristics separating it from Eucalyptus and in fact is why Corymbia is thought to be more closely related to the Angophora, which also bears its flowers in corymbs. These three genera are closely related and collectively referred to as "eucalypts" or "gums" (though this latter name really refers to eucalypts that exude resins). The specific epithet of this species mean ficifolia "fig-like leaves" and other common names for it are Scarlet Gum and Red-flowered Eucalyptus. We have grown this great tree since the inception of our nursery in 1979.  This description is based on our research and observations made of this plant as it grows in our nursery, in the nursery garden and in other gardens that we have visited. We also try to incorporate comments received from others and appreciate getting feedback of any kind from those who have additional information about this plant, particularly if they disagree with what we have written or if they have additional cultural tips that would aid others in growing Corymbia [Eucalyptus] ficifolia.
 
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