Eucalyptus phoenicea

Distribution Map
Family: Myrtaceae
Distribution: Top end of the Northern Territory, Kimberley region of Western Australia and an isolated occurrence near Cooktown, Queensland on stony ridges and slopes.
Common Name: Scarlet Gum, Fiery Gum, Gnaingar
Derivation of Name: Eucalyptus...from Greek, eu, well and calyptos, covered referring to the cap which covers the developing flowers.
phoenicea..."fiery", referring to the colour of the flowers.
Conservation Status: Not considered to be at risk in the wild.

General Description:

Eucalyptus phoenicea
Eucalyptus phoenicea
Photo: Keith Townsend

Eucalyptus phoenicea is a small tree to around12 metres with a slender trunk. Bark is yellow to yellow-brown, flecked, flaky and fibrous on the trunk, smooth and white or cream on upper branches. The adult leaves are lance-shaped with a long thin point, grey-green, 8-12cm x 1.2-2cm and have a flattened stalk. The beautiful bright orange flowers are borne in unusual spherical heads of 12 to 20 flowers. Flowering extends over along period and a wide range of birds and insects find the flowers attractive

This is one of several colourful eucalypts of northern Australia. Others include E.miniata and Corymbia ptychocarpa. Because of its spectacular flowers and modest size, E.phoenicea is an excellent eucalypt for tropical and sub-tropical gardens. It requires an open position with good drainage. It is not suited to cooler, temperate climates. Under good growing conditions it is reported to flower in its second year from seed.

Propagation is from seed which germinates readily.


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