A Resource Guide to Smaller Eucalyptus

By: Matt Ritter
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Matt Ritter is a professor in the Biology Department and director of the Plant Conservatory at California Polytechnic University, San…

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The genus Eucalyptus is large and diverse, with over 700 species. Many species never exhibit any of the problematic characteristics so commonly, and incorrectly, attributed to the entire genus. Drought-tolerant eucalypts from desert and mediterranean climates of Western Australia rarely grow larger than small trees or large shrubs, shed little, if any, bark, and seldom reproduce in cultivation; they do, however, offer large, brilliantly colored flowers and attractive foliage. These species are the focus of this article—those whose planting should be considered as appropriate as that of Arctostaphylos, Ceanothus, Protea, and Grevillea; they deserve an opportunity to enhance the gardens, parks, and public landscapes of the Western United States…

Recommended Smaller Eucalyptus

This non-comprehensive list of smaller Eucalyptus suitable for planting in Western gardens has been divided into distinct horticultural characteristics, although many of the species exhibit multiple characters. Those flagged with an asterisk (*) are featured in Matt Ritter’s article in the April 09 issue of Pacific Horticulture. Temperatures are provided to suggest the approximate hardiness range for those listed in the latest edition of the Sunset Western Garden Book.

Distinctly silver or otherwise interesting foliage:
Eucalyptus crenulata
Buxton gum
Eucalyptus cosmophylla
cup gum
Eucalyptus formanii
Forman’s mallee
*Eucalyptus kruseana
book-leaf mallee
*Eucalyptus macrocarpa
mottlecah [8°-12°F]
Eucalyptus neglecta
Omeo gum
Eucalyptus pruinosa
silver box
Eucalyptus pulverulenta
silver-leafed mountain gum [15°-21°F]
*Eucalyptus tetragona
tallerack

Large, brightly colored flowers:
*Eucalyptus caesia subsp. magna
silver princess
Eucalyptus desmondensis
Desmond mallee
*Eucalyptus erythrocorys
red-cap gum [23°-26°F]
*Eucalyptus ficifolia
red-flowering gum [25°-30°F]
Eucalyptus forrestiana
fuchsia gum
Eucalyptus lansdowneana
crimson mallee
*Eucalyptus preissiana
bell-fruited mallee
Eucalyptus pyriformis
pear-fruited mallee
Eucalyptus rhodantha
rose mallee
*Eucalyptus tetraptera
four-winged mallee
*Eucalyptus torquata
coral gum [17°-22°F]
Eucalyptus woodwardii
lemon-flowered mallee
Eucalyptus youngiana
large-fruited mallee

Ornate bark, fruit, or floral buds:
Eucalyptus burgessiana
Faulconbridge mallee ash
Eucalyptus eremophila
tall sand mallee
Eucalyptus erythronema
white-barked mallee
Eucalyptus grossa
coarse-leaved mallee
Eucalyptus magacornuta
warted yate
*Eucalyptus orbifolia
round-leaved mallee
Eucalyptus salubris
gimlet gum [20°-25°F]
Eucalyptus sargentii
Salt River mallee [22°F]

Brenzel, Kathleen Norris. Sunset Western Garden Book. Menlo Park, CA: Sunset Publishing Corporation, 2007.

Brooker, Ian, and David Kleinig. Eucalyptus: An Illustrated Guide to Identification. Port Melbourne, Vic, Australia: Reed, 1996.

Citron, Joan, editor. Selected Plants for Southern California Gardens. Los Angeles: Southern California Horticultural Society, 2000.

Elliott, Gwen, and Rodger Elliott. The Kuranga Handbook of Australian Plants. Port Melbourne, Vic, Australia: Lothian Publishing Company Pty, Ltd, 1996.

Elliott, W Rodger. “Gems in the Genus Eucalyptus.” Pacific Horticulture 49, no 1 (Spring 1988): 20-26.

Elliott, W Rodger, and David L Jones. Encyclopaedia of Australian Plants, Volume 4. Port Melbourne, Vic, Australia: Lothian Publishing Company Pty, Ltd, 1992.

Gardner, Charles A. Eucalypts of Western Australia. Perth, WA, Australia: Western Australian Department of Agriculture, 1979

Holliday, Ivan. A Gardener’s Guide to Eucalypts. New York: Rigby, 1980

Molyneux, Bill, and Sue Forrester. The Austraflora Book of Australian Plants. South Yarra, Vic, Australia: Viking O’Neil, 1988.

Muller, Robert N, and J Robert Haller. Trees of Santa Barbara. Santa Barbara, CA: Santa Barbara Botanic Garden, 2005.

Sources of Seed and Plants

Australian Native Plants Nursery
Nye Road
Casitas Springs, CA 93001
805/649-3362
www.australianplants.com
Walk-in and mail order (plant list online)
Plants

Cal Poly Plant Conservatory
San Luis Obispo, CA
www.plantconservatory.calpoly.edu
Mail order
Seeds

Haley Farms Nursery
10224 Mill Creek Road SE
Aumsille, OR 97325
503/749-1466
Walk-in and mail order
Plants

Nindethana Seed Service
PO Box 2121
Albany, WA 6331
Australia
http://www.nindethana.net.au/
Mail order (plant list online)
Seeds

UC Santa Cruz Arboretum
1156 High Street
Santa Cruz, CA 95064
831/427-2998
http://www2.ucsc.edu/arboretum/
Walk-in
Plants

Windmill Outback Nursery
4583 E Old Mountain Road
Louisa, VA 23093-2420
540/894-0288
www.australiaplants.com
Mail order (plant list online)
Seeds and plants

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