Landscape Plant of the Month by Mick O’Brien Corymbia ficifolia or Dwarf Flowering Gum

This has got to be one of my favourite all time Australian native trees, Corymbia ficifolia (syn. Eucalyptus ficifolia) or the dwarf flowering gum. While they are mostly referred to as dwarf gums and are grafted specimens, some species can reach (6) metres tall, so caution needed when sourcing suitable trees from your local nursery, but what an absolute, sensational flowering display indeed. Masses of bees hover over these blooms in the landscape and the humming can be heard many metres away as they swarm to milk the pollen. The large gumnuts are quite a feature in their own right and the overall shape of the tree adds a real design element to the native garden too. Corymbia ficifolia- “Dwarf Orange” is the one to purchase for smaller gardens as it reaches (3) metres in height but they still manage to produce masses of full sized blooms and gum nuts making them stand out feature plants indeed. They generally like well drained soils and as a result don’t like wet feet, so they do well here on the coast. “Dwarf Orange” puts on their best show after the summer rains. The larger cultivars- “Summer Red”, “Summer Glory” and “Summer Beauty” can reach (6) metres tall and the colour of blooms vary from light pink to red and orange. If you are looking for a small Australian native tree which produces masses of eye popping flowers in summer which attracts the birds and the bees, then Corymbia ficifolia- “Dwarf Orange” is sure to please. Our native wild life seems most impressed. Simply gorgeous!