Until recently if you wanted a flowering gum tree you had to just go out and buy one and hope for the best. Sometimes the flowers turned out red and other times pink, but quite often it was an insipid white which you didn’t really want anyway. The good news is that it’s now possible to buy flowering gums with predictable flower colours. Specially bred for the home garden, the new plants are hybrids between Eucalyptus ficifolia and E. ptychocarpa, grafted on to E. intermedia rootstock.
Common name: Flowering gum trees
Botanic name: Eucalyptus ‘Summer Red’ and Eucalyptus ‘Summer Beauty’
Description: Eucalypt hybrids which produce masses of flowers in summer, and grow quickly to around 5 metres (16′) or more. ‘Summer Beauty’ is a soft pink with almost a hint of apricot, and ‘Summer Red’ is mid-pink to red. The foliage is an attractive bronze colour.
Best climate: The trees should do well in most areas of Australia. They will tolerate light frosts and drought.
ideal small gum tree for the home garden can be pruned and kept to shrub size if required suitable for large pots flower arrangements
good form and size they produce an abundance of decorative flowers bird and bee attracting they grow in a wide variety of habitats and soils
Protect young plants from frost. Prune after flowering if required to maintain form and bushiness. Fertilise with a low phosphorus plant food such as Osmocote for natives.
We filmed ‘Summer Red’ and ‘Summer Beauty’ at Tim’s Garden Centre, Campbelltown, NSW. Phone: (02) 4626 7022. Check with your local native nursery, if they don’t have the plants in stock they will be able to order them in for you.You can also buy grafted plants for $28.50 in 200mm (8″) pots by mail order from Fairhill Native Plants,Yandina, QLD. Phone: (07) 5446 7088.