Eucalyptus – Australian Foliage

General Description/History

The gum tree the most recognised Australian plant in many peoples’ minds, so it is not surprising that several of the more attractive gum flowers are used in floristry. Eucalyptus flowers are not typical flowers, however, as the display is made up mostly of anthers and styles, rather than petals. This makes gum flower much more delicate, and short-lived than many other cut flower forms.

Flower colour is mostly red, but can also be cream. In some species (eg E. tetragona) the operculum, or the cap that fits over the developing flower, is also very attractive, so that branches are sold in bud as well as open flowers.

Flowering gum branches are either bush-picked or grown in plantations for both flowers and foliage. In Australia they are grown in mainly in Western Australia and South Australia, but also in Victoria, Queensland and NSW.

Types: Corymbia ficifolia, Eucalyptus tetragona, E.caesia, E. macrocarpa, E. sideroxylon

What to look for

  • Flowers that are ½ open and fluffy looking.
  • Avoid wilted flowers – flowers will not last longer than 5 days.

Flower Care

  1. Keep cool! Never place in full sun.
  2. Break bunches apart.
  3. Strip leaves from the bottom half of each stem.
  4. Recut at least 2 cm off each stem and place in cold water.
  5. Use a preservative as this will keep flowers looking fresh.
  6. Replace vase water with fresh preservative every day.
  7. Do not smash or split stem ends.

Interesting Facts about this Flower

Gum trees are not all in the Eucalyptus genus. There are 113 species in the new Corymbia genus (formed in 1995), 80 of which used to be in Eucalyptus. There are also 13 species of Angophora that look very much like Eucalyptus.

The opercula, or caps, from E. macrocarpa, are the hats worn by Snugglepot & Cuddlepie. The flowers of this species can be over 10 cm in diameter – very large for a gum flower.

Botanical Name: Corymbia ficifolia, Eucalyptus tetragona, E.caesia, E. macrocarpa, E. sideroxylon

Common Names: Flowering Gum

Stem Length: 30 to 50 cm

Country of Origin: Australia

Available Colours: Cream, Green, Red

Season: Summer,Spring

Availability: January,February,September,October,November,Decemeber