Photo by Melody

PlantFiles: Red Flowering Gum, Scarlet Flowering Gum
Corymbia ficifolia

Family: Myrtaceae (mir-TAY-see-ee) (Info)
Genus: Corymbia (kor-RIM-bee-uh) (Info)
Species: ficifolia (fik-ee-FOH-lee-uh) (Info)

Synonym:Eucalyptus ficifolia

12 members have or want this plant for trade.


12-15 ft. (3.6-4.7 m)
15-20 ft. (4.7-6 m)
20-30 ft. (6-9 m)

10-12 ft. (3-3.6 m)
12-15 ft. (3.6-4.7 m)

USDA Zone 9b: to -3.8 C (25 F)
USDA Zone 10a: to -1.1 C (30 F)
USDA Zone 10b: to 1.7 C (35 F)
USDA Zone 11: above 4.5 C (40 F)

Sun Exposure:
Full Sun

Unknown - Tell us

Bloom Color:
Scarlet (Dark Red)

Bloom Time:
Late Spring/Early Summer
Mid Summer


Other details:
This plant is attractive to bees, butterflies and/or birds

Soil pH requirements:
6.6 to 7.5 (neutral)

Patent Information:
Unknown - Tell us

Propagation Methods:
Unknown - Tell us

Seed Collecting:
Bag seedheads to capture ripening seed
Collect seedhead/pod when flowers fade; allow to dry
Allow pods to dry on plant; break open to collect seeds
Allow seedheads to dry on plants; remove and collect seeds
Remove fleshy coating on seeds before storing
Unblemished fruit must be significantly overripe before harvesting seed; clean and dry seeds
Wear gloves to protect hands when handling seeds
Properly cleaned, seed can be successfully stored
Seed does not store well; sow as soon as possible

Click thumbnail
to view:

By Ulrich
Thumbnail #1 of Corymbia ficifolia by Ulrich

By Ulrich
Thumbnail #2 of Corymbia ficifolia by Ulrich

By Ulrich
Thumbnail #3 of Corymbia ficifolia by Ulrich

By kennedyh
Thumbnail #4 of Corymbia ficifolia by kennedyh

By kennedyh
Thumbnail #5 of Corymbia ficifolia by kennedyh

By palmbob
Thumbnail #6 of Corymbia ficifolia by palmbob

By palmbob
Thumbnail #7 of Corymbia ficifolia by palmbob

There are a total of 55 photos.
Click here to view them all!


4 positives
No neutrals
1 negative

Gardeners' Notes:

Positive LM02 On Mar 22, 2014, LM02 from Burlingame, CA wrote:

we have three of the E. ficifolia in our yard (about 50yrs old). it was planted above a raised masonary block retaining wall (~3ft high) about 7 ft from the retaining wall. the retaining wall has not suffered any damage from the roots. So I do not think it's a high-root-damage tree as long it has alternative areas for the roots to grow (in our case, in the direction along and away from the retaining wall).

THey grow relatively quickly when they're young, but once it reaches about 25-30ft, they seem to slow down and didn't grow much taller. When healthy, the canopy is dense dark green, and when it flowers it's spectacular, and buzzing with honey bees and humming birds. If you want to attract honey bees, this tree is it. when you go near it when it's flowering, sometimes you can hear a buzz overhead swarmed with bees. Very cool. Squirrels love to chew on the seed pods which are the size of a small golf balls (and equally hard). so the seed pod litter can be a problem especially when they land on our concrete patio (trip/slip hazard), but our kids likes to collect them and play with them so whether it is a problem will depend on the immediate surroundings.

Even with prolific seed pod litter that is largely left untouched, we have not experienced a single proliferation of this tree in 50 years or so. so it's definitly not invasive.

Our trees grew relatively slender. so it is taller than it is wide. I've seen some shorter trees (about 15ft?) that are more round canopy and is a standard. So I think you can get a pretty wide variety of shape depending on its individual growth habits.

it sheds leaves periodically right before the flush of new growth, but otherwise it's evergreen and very pretty tree to look at year-round. It's one of our favorite trees in our yard.

when they get old, they can get a bit leggy. so depending on your plans, you may want to put some pruning regimen in relatively early on so that you can keep an ideal height (easiest to maintain between 20-30ft) with bushy growth without having to resort to drastic measures to reduce the height. Great tree for privacy screen to screen out the pesky uphill 2nd floor neighbor from looking into our yard.

it does have a tendency to sprout branches mid-trunk or at the base if you allow it. if so, you can end up with a multiple-trunk specimen and not so much a "standard". we have one that is essentially a single-trunk 30ft tree, and another that has four 8-10in diameter trunks from the base. again, it all depends what you want. it responds to pruning well.

Negative Vestia On Dec 17, 2013, Vestia from San Francisco, CA wrote:

While this tree is very showy when in flower, it should not be planted as a street tree. The flowers drip large amounts of nectar on cars and sidewalks, Then the large woody seed pods are a hazard to cars when they drop, and to pedestrians who might trip on them.
It should be used only in gardens and parks.

Positive albey30 On May 18, 2010, albey30 from Christchurch
New Zealand (Zone 9a) wrote:

Very beautiful flowering Gum. I have 2x growing in my garden, and this is there second winter coming up ~ all good so far.
The hardiness zones that are posted for this tree are incorrect by miles.
This tree is only hardy to zone 9a, and would most likely be killed if temperatures drop much below -7c or 19f.

Positive StarGazey26 On Jul 23, 2005, StarGazey26 from (Zone 10a) wrote:

I love this plant, the color of the bloom is amazing, very eye catching, nice round headed shade tree, is messy though, but a nice tree! I love it..

Positive palmbob On Aug 23, 2003, palmbob from Acton, CA (Zone 8b) wrote:

This is a very common avenue tree in some cities in Southern California. It has to be one of the most colorful of the Eucalyptus. It is an easy grow here and extremely drought tolerant. Very messy tree, though... not easy to plant stuff under it as it has deep shade, tons of falling leaves, bark and branches, and very sappy.


This plant has been said to grow in the following regions:

Burlingame, California
San Diego, California
San Francisco, California
San Leandro, California
Solvang, California
South Pasadena, California
Trout, Louisiana

We recommend Firefox
Overwhelmed? There's a lot to see here. Try starting at our homepage.

[ Home | About | Advertise | Media Kit | Mission | Featured Companies | Submit an Article | Terms of Use | Tour | Rules | Privacy Policy | Contact Us ]

Back to the top

Copyright © 2000-2015 Dave's Garden, an Internet Brands company. All Rights Reserved.

Hope for America