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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 20 to 55 ft. high and 20 to 45 ft. wide. Roundish, gray-green juvenile leaves are 1 to 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 dry site or with fast drainage. Can be used as perennial in borderline climates.

Eucalyptus deglupta

This fast-growing, erect tree from the jungles of Indonesia, Philippines, New Guinea reaches 75 to 200 ft. tall and 30 to 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

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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

Grows 30 to 75 ft. high and 18 to 45 ft. wide. Silvery blue-green young foliage. Dark green, 3- to 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 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

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Eucalyptus nicholii

Grows to 36 to 48 ft. high and 15 to 36 ft. wide. Narrow, 3 to 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 said to smell like peppermint. Too much water can cause chlorosis.

Eucalyptus parvifolia

Grows 18 to 30 ft. tall and wide. Can handle temperatures in the 0° to 10°F/-18° to -12°C range.

Eucalyptus pauciflora

Grows to 25 to 60 ft. high and 20 to 45 ft. wide. Narrow gray-green leaves are 3 to 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 25 to 40 ft. tall, 20 to 30 ft. wide, with graceful branching and white trunk.

Eucalyptus perriniana

Grows 12 to 30 ft. tall and wide.

Eucalyptus polyanthemos, photo courtesy of San Marcos Growers
Eucalyptus polyanthemos, photo courtesy of San Marcos Growers

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Eucalyptus polyanthemos

Hardy to 14°Fto 18°F (–10°C to –8°C). Grows30–75 ft. tall, 15–45 ft. wide, with gray-green, nearly round, 2–3-in. juvenile leaves and dark green, lance-shaped mature leaves. Young leaves useful for fresh and dried arrangements. Select young trees carefully; some have leaves less round and gray than others. Good as specimen or street tree. Can be used as perennial in borderline climates.

Eucalyptus siderolylon
Eucalyptus siderolylon

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Eucalyptus siderolylon

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

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