Eucalyptus ficifolia (Western Australian Flowering Gum)

Eucalyptus (Corymbia) ficifolia (Western Australian Flowering Gum)

Eucalyptus (Corymbia) ficifolia (Western Australian Flowering Gum)

As the flowers continue to open on the Western Australian Flowering Gums (Eucalyptus ficifolia) I am taking photos of the different colour forms in the town. The correct name for this species is now Corymbia ficifolia. These are hardy trees to survive here with the hot dry summers, winter frost and limestone soils on most parts of the town.

This tree is 6-15 metres tall by 5-20 metres wide, flowering here from December to March. It is a tree like a mallee in that it has a lignotuber and if the trunk was cut off it would sprout multiple trunks from the lignotuber. However these trees have a nice single trunk with a dense canopy and of course the spectacular flowers.

The books say that this species is sensitive to alkalinity. It may be a little when first planted but seeing it growing here, it is a small tree less than 6 metres tall and that may well be the effect that alkalinity has on the growth in this area. Heavy frost is a problem in some areas.


15 Responses to “Eucalyptus ficifolia (Western Australian Flowering Gum)”

  1. One Year Old Today…

    ONE YEAR OLD TODAY…ONE YEAR OLD TODAY… Twelve months ago I set about delivering a brand new type of gardening blog. Full of facts, tips, ideas, inspiration and general gardening news I have tried to deliver a blog that……

  2. Snail says:

    They’re spectacular trees and they grow so well in parts of Melbourne.

    Happy 2007!

  3. […] I took the camera out this morning to take photos of the different colour forms of Eucalyptus ficifolia (Western Australian Flowering Gum). The hot north winds that we have had lately have finished the flowers on some trees. There is a lovely deep red form I could not get close to so I will have to knock on the door and ask if I can invade their backyard. More about Eucalyptus ficifolia here. […]

  4. Howard Nugent says:

    Yes! Spectacular in colour. Mine -Summer Red hybrid, have just flowered after 6 months. They are water wise trees. How do I prune them them to get a metre to a metre an a half high hedge? I have three planted about a generous metre apart. Welcome any advice or websites.

  5. Corinne says:

    As they sprout from the base, it may be a simple matter of cutting behind the old flowers to stimulate more growth and keep the plants bushy. For appearances, I would not cut back to bare wood, but I suspect it would shoot off beautifully from that. It may take a while to come back to flower on the new growth. It is worth the experiment with one plant or part of one to see the leaf response. It depends I think on whether you want a hedge that is bushy to the ground, or a hedge of small trees on trunks.

  6. Maureen Capaldi says:

    I have seen a flowering gum with large nuts that change from green to grey/brown and with yellow filligree flowers and with small red nutty flowers. Are these three separate parts of ther tree or do they change from one to the other?

    • Corinne says:

      The change in colour of the nuts is the usual aging of the fruits. The ‘filigree’ would be the stamens which are attached to the ‘red nutty flowers’. These are actually the flowering fruit of the tree. When the stamens age, they fall away from the ‘fruit’ which continues to age and mature the seeds inside the nut or woody fruit. As these age further they become grey or brown depending on the species. Some species hold the gumnut unopened on the tree. Once picked, the fruit will continue to dry and then split open where the stamens were growing, shedding the seed. Others split open on the tree and shed their seed immediately.

  7. Andrew Holden says:

    Could you please email me information on the ” Plytapus Gum Tree”
    And where in WA I may be able to purchase such a tree.
    My neighbour who is 81 asked me information on the Plytapus gum as we use to have one but it was removed for renovations, but I distinctly remember it was a bush tree, small leaved and you could trim it to baloon out and not grow so high.Birds loved it.

    Thank you
    Kind regards

  8. That is a one great plant I really love the look of it, not known here in Europe

  9. chantelle says:

    I have a big old flowering (orange flowers) gum tree in my front yard in Melbourne that I love.
    We are nearing the end of a house extension that was at the front of the house and I went to a lot of trouble and expense to protect the tree during this time.

    Our front feature windows are framed in a hardwood timber that have been stained (so I was told by the builder) by the tree.
    I also have big feature panels of sandstone that have just been laid to the facade of the house.
    I was told to seal them to protect them from the tree. The sandstone supplier has told me that if it’s sap from the tree that stained the timber then a sealer won’t help and the tree will stain my sandstone like it has the timber.

    Another tradesman on site thought it was the gumnuts/flowers that caused the staining so I don’t know if that’s as bad as the sap.

    Unfortunately they are all telling me to cut the tree down which I don’t want to do and probably not allowed to do anyway. A lot of money has gone into the house extension so we also don’t want it ruined from the tree and hope there are ways to prevent this.

    Any opinions on whether my poor tree will really cause the damage the are warning me about would be appreciated.

    • Corinne says:

      I don’t know the specifics of what tree does what, but I do know that many eucalypts ‘drip’ a kind of sap from leaves and flowers. Some people complain about the ‘stuff’ on their cars after parking under a tree. I assume that the tree was brushing against the window frames? I wonder if a better understanding might come from a timber merchant? Also another opinion about the sandstone sealing. I;m sorry I cannot be more helpful. Google might provide some further info.

  10. Letty says:

    I have a red flowering gum and have harvested some nuts … a very small orange maybe see has emerged from the gumnut. Is this the seed for planting … and are there any special instructions on planting these seeds … eg do they need heat or soaking overnight maybe?

    • Corinne says:

      When the nut splits at the top, chaff and seed will come out. The seed is usually much less in quantity compared to seed. I suspect the orange bit is an old stamen from the flower. Save a few nuts from which to collect seed, and plants seeds and chaff. They do not need pre-treatment.

  11. Dianne says:

    I have a Eucalyptus Ficifolia (now Corymbia Ficifolia), which is 21 years old and up until now has never flowered. A couple of times there have been one or two fronds of buds but in the early stages they have all dropped off from what appears to be a larvae having eaten them from the inside out. This year for the first time it was covered in buds but over 2/3rds have similarly dropped off. The ones that have grown bigger nearly all have a hole in them where I assume the larvae have eaten its way out. The only thing I have noticed on the tree during budding time is a whole mass on fly like insects but more elongated and more translucent than house flies. I have searched the internet and asked nursery people and no one has heard of this problem. Can anyone please shed any light on it?

    Thank you, Dianne

    • Corinne says:

      I have heard of this sort of thing happening, but I do not know what insect is involved. Is it possible to spray the tree? ie is it low enough for you to do this? At the time of these insects to spray with a systemic spray may kill enough of the larvae to allow some flowers to open. This must be a great disappoinment to you. maybe someone has more specific information.

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