‘Flowering Gums’ are a feature of Australian culture as well as environment. Whilst all of the 700 odd species of Eucalyptus flower, when people talk of ‘Flowering Gums’, they are usually referring to Corymbia ficifolia. Corymbias are closely related to Eucaplytus, but are placed in their own genera.
Corymbia ficifolia is a magnificent tree. Native to a very small area just south of Perth, it has been planted extensively across Australia and worldwide. One of the reasons it is so much showier than other gums is that it flowers after is has finished its annual growth cycle, so the flower heads stay above the foliage.
Unfortunately, as a garden tree it has two major drawbacks; it is intolerant of anything other than well-drained, sandy soil, and it is very variable in colour. Seedlings can turn out to be any colour between cream and deep red.
In the last few years grafting technology has improved, and it is now possible to graft Corymbias. This means that trees can be produced with the certainty of uniform colour, able to thrive in a greater range of soil conditions. Grafting has also allowed for the introduction of smaller-growing varieties.
Like many of the Eucalypt family, Corymbias have very attractive bark. Young trees have dark, coffee-coloured bark. This gradually peels to reveal a creamy-white bark.
We offer three different cultivars;
Wildfire, which is a rich vibrant red. This one has the classic red flowers, and grows to be about 6m x 3m at full height.
Calypso, a soft pink. This one grows to be a broad, rounded tree of approx 5m x 3m at maturity.
Baby Orange, a clear medium orange colour. This is the smallest of the three, filling out to a rounded tree of approx 3m x 3m at maturity. The new growth has an attractive orange tinge to it.