Plant FinderPlant Finder Graphic
Zone
Zones 5, 6, 8-24, H1, H2
Full Sun
Full
Minimal Water
Minimal

Eucalyptus

Myrtaceae
Evergreen, Shrubs, Trees

With few exceptions, these plants are native to Australia. More than 600 different species grow there, ranging from sprawling shrubs (many of them bearing the common name “mallee”) to skyline trees. About 150 species have been grown in areas of California and Arizona that have climates similar to the plants’ native Australian habitats; many more have been grown as solitary representatives in arboretums. Eucalypts are the most widely planted non-native trees in these two Western states—for several hundred miles in parts of California.

Eucalyptus cinerea

Grows to 20–55 ft. high and 20–45 ft. wide. Roundish, gray-green juvenile leaves are 1–2 in. long. Long, narrow green mature leaves. Unimportant small white flowers, small seed capsules. Cut back often for a supply of decorative foliage. Withstands wind. Best in a dry site or with fast drainage. Can be used as perennial in borderline climates.

Eucalyptus deglupta

This fast-growing, erect tree from the the jungles of Indonesia, Philippines, and New Guinea reaches 75–200 ft. tall and 30–75 ft. wide. Dark green leaves. This tree’s trunk is the spectacular feature, with flaking bark patterned in blue, green, yellow, red, and purple. Flowers and fruit are inconspicuous.

Eucalyptus ficifolia (photo courtesy of Steffen Hauser/botanikfoto/Alamy)
Eucalyptus ficifolia (photo courtesy of Steffen Hauser/botanikfoto/Alamy)

Click to Enlarge

Eucalyptus ficifolia

Hardy to 25°F to 30°F (–4°C to –1°C). Grows to 18–45 ft. tall, 15–60 ft. wide; usually single-trunked and round headed. Deep green, leathery, 3–7-in.-long leaves. Showy foot-long clusters of red flowers (sometimes white, cream, pink, or orange) all year, peaking in summer. Heavy 1-in. seed capsules resemble dice cups; prune these from young trees to avoid weighing down the branches and spoiling the form. Seldom thrives in lawns or hottest climates.

Eucalyptus gunnii (photo courtesy of Proven Winners)
Eucalyptus gunnii (photo courtesy of Proven Winners)

Click to Enlarge

Eucalyptus gunnii

Grows to 30–75 ft. high and 18–45 ft. wide. Silvery blue-green young foliage. Dark green, 3–5-in.-long mature leaves. Green-and-tan bark. Small creamy white flowers. Clusters of tiny seed capsules. One of the fastest-growing, hardiest eucalypts. Dense form is good for shade, windbreak, or screen. Can handle temperatures in the 5° to 10°F/–15° to –12°C range—and may take temperatures a few degrees colder than indicated, if not for an extended period.

Eucalyptus nicholii
Eucalyptus nicholii

Click to Enlarge

Eucalyptus nicholii

Grows to 36–48 ft. high and 15–36 ft. wide. Narrow, 3–5-in.-long, light green leaves. Bark is furrowed, rich reddish brown. Inconspicuous whitish flowers, tiny capsules. Graceful, weeping garden or street tree. Crushed leaves are said to smell like peppermint. Too much water can cause chlorosis.

Eucalyptus parvula

Hardy to 0°F (–18°C); one of the hardiest eucalypts. Upright, spreading tree to 25–40 ft. tall and 15–30 ft. wide, with semiweeping branches. Dark to light blue-green, highly fragrant leaves are narrow and usually under 3 in. long. Smooth, tan to grayish bark. Tolerates poorly drained soils and more shade than most.

Eucalyptus pauciflora

Grows to 25–60 ft. high and 20–45 ft. wide. Narrow gray-green leaves are 3–6 in. long. Insignificant flowers and seed capsules. White trunk and branches and open crown make it a good specimen tree. Good in lawns. Takes wet or dry soil. Very little litter. In youth, remove erratic branches.

Eucalyptus pauciflora niphophila

Grows to 25–40 ft. tall, 20–30 ft. wide, with graceful branching and white trunk.

Eucalyptus perriniana

Grows to 12–30 ft. tall and wide.

Eucalyptus polyanthemos (photo courtesy of San Marcos Growers)
Eucalyptus polyanthemos (photo courtesy of San Marcos Growers)

Click to Enlarge

Eucalyptus polyanthemos

Hardy to 14°F to 18°F (–10°C to –8°C). Grows to 30–75 ft. tall and 15–45 ft. wide, with gray-green, nearly round, 2–3-in. juvenile leaves and dark green, lance-shaped mature leaves. Young leaves are useful for fresh and dried arrangements. Select young trees carefully; some have leaves less round and gray than others. Good as a specimen or street tree. Can be used as a perennial in borderline climates.

Eucalyptus sideroxylon
Eucalyptus sideroxylon

Click to Enlarge

Eucalyptus sideroxylon

Grows to 20–80 ft. tall and wide. Slim blue-green leaves turn bronze in winter. Bark is iron-black (with a hint of red).

You Might Also Like...

Rosmarinus officinalis ‘Majorca Pink’

Initially erect to 2–4 ft. tall and 1 1/2–2 ft. wide; eventually twists into a picturesque...

Cobaea scandens

Perennial usually grown as an annual. An extremely vigorous Mexican native that can grow to 25 ft. tal...

Rosmarinus officinalis ‘Huntington Carpet’ (‘Huntington Blue’)

Grows to 1 1/2 ft. tall; spreads quickly yet maintains a dense center. Pale blue flowers. Best variety...

Find Your Sunset Climate Zone

Find Your Sunset Climate Zone

View Maps Learn More

Advertisement