Thursday, 21 May 2015

MELBOURNE STREET TREES 113 - RED FLOWERING GUM

Eucalyptus leucoxylon 'Rosea' or the "Red Flowering Yellow Gum" is currently in bloom all over Melbourne. It belongs to the family Myrtaceae, along with the other eucalypts and a very large number of these species are native to Australia. Eucalyptus is from Greek, eu, "well" and calyptos, "covered" referring to the cap which covers the developing flowers. leucoxylon is from Greek, leuco, "white" and xylon, "wood", referring to the timber colour. Rosea is from Latin and means "pink".

It is a medium-sized tree which reaches 10-30 metres in height. The bark is retained on the lower trunk but the upper trunk and branches are smooth-barked and cream to grey in colour. The adult leaves are lance-shaped to about 200 mm long. The flowers are usually seen in autumn and winter and are pink or red in the 'Rosea' variety.

This is a popular tree in cultivation, particularly the red-flowering variety. It is generally regarded as a more reliable red-flowered species for humid climates than Corymbia ficifolia, the Western Australian red flowering gum. However, as it is native to a dry-summer climate, it is not reliable in tropical areas. It performs best in well-drained, moist soils but, once established is tolerant of extended dry conditions.

E.leucoxylon is regularly planted for windbreaks, shade, honey production and for ornamental purposes and it grows well in alkaline soils. It attracts native birds, which feed on its flowers. Propagation is from seed which germinates readily. The flower colour of seedlings cannot be guaranteed but red-flowered forms often produce red-flowered offspring.

This post is part of the Floral Friday Fotos meme.




2 comments:

  1. Stunning pink flowers from up-close... inedit!! Never seen this tall tree before... Very lovely!!

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