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Corymbia ficifolia: Red Flowering Gum

Edward F. Gilman, Dennis G. Watson, Ryan W. Klein, and Deborah R. Hilbert


A native of Australia, Corymbia ficifolia grows best on the western coast of the United States and is seldom successful in the interior. Its flowers are spectacular, and it can be tried as a container plant in the North, wintered indoors. Foliage of eucalyptus is aromatic, with frequent distinguishing differences between juvenile and mature leaves. These plants are used in western landscapes.

Figure 1. Middle-aged Eucalyptus ficifolia: Red Flowering Gum
Figure 1. Middle-aged Corymbia ficifolia: Red flowering gum. 
Credit: Ed Gilman, UF/IFAS 


General Information

Scientific name: Corymbia ficifolia

Pronunciation: core-IM-bee-uh fiss-ih-FOLE-ee-uh    

Common name(s): Red flowering gum    

Family: Myrtaceae

USDA hardiness zones: 9B through 11 (Figure 2)    

Origin: not native to North America    

Invasive potential: not assessed/incomplete assessment

Uses: urban tolerant; specimen; highway median; street without sidewalk; tree lawn 3–4 feet wide; tree lawn 4–6 feet wide; tree lawn > 6 ft wide    

Figure 2. Range
Figure 2.  Range



Height: 30 to 40 feet

Spread: 15 to 25 feet

Crown uniformity: irregular

Crown shape: round

Crown density: moderate

Growth rate: fast

Texture: medium


Leaf arrangement: alternate (Figure 3)

Leaf type: simple

Leaf margin: entire

Leaf shape: lanceolate

Leaf venation: pinnate

Leaf type and persistence: fragrant, evergreen, broadleaf evergreen

Leaf blade length: 2 to 4 inches

Leaf color: green

Fall color: no color change

Fall characteristic: not showy

Figure 3. Foliage
Figure 3.  Foliage



Flower color: red

Flower characteristics: very showy


Fruit shape: round, oval

Fruit length: 1 to 3 inches

Fruit covering: dry or hard

Fruit color: brown, green

Fruit characteristics: does not attract wildlife; showy; fruit/leaves not a litter problem

Trunk and Branches

Trunk/bark/branches: branches don't droop; showy; typically one trunk; thorns

Pruning requirement: needed for strong structure

Breakage: susceptible to breakage

Current year twig color: reddish, brown

Current year twig thickness: thin

Wood specific gravity: unknown


Light requirement: full sun

Soil tolerances: clay; sand; loam; acidic; slightly alkaline; well-drained

Drought tolerance: high

Aerosol salt tolerance: unknown


Roots: not a problem

Winter interest: no

Outstanding tree: no

Ozone sensitivity: unknown

Verticillium wilt susceptibility: resistant

Pest resistance: sensitive to pests/diseases

Use and Management

Propagation is by seed, using ripe seed capsules taken off trees.


Pests include psyllids, aphids, mealybugs, scales, mites, caterpillars, and borers. Spraying with soap solution or appropriate chemical sprays will often suffice to control all but the borers. Borer damage may require the cutting out and destroying of infested stems and the removal of dying plants. Psyllids disfigure the tree and can be quite a problem.


It is resistant to armillaria root rot and to verticillium wilt. They are susceptible to powdery mildew and to Phytophthora cinnamoni and Phytophthora lateralis.

Leaf spot and crown gall are eucalyptus' major disease problems. Prune infected twigs and branches and be sure to keep dead leaves and fruit cleaned up as plant refuse is usually the source of leaf spot disease.

Publication #ENH398

Release Date:March 26, 2024

Related Collections

Part of Southern Trees Fact Sheets

Related Topics

  • Critical Issue: 1. Agricultural and Horticultural Enterprises
Organism ID

About this Publication

This document is ENH398, one of a series of the Department of Agricultural and Biological Engineering, UF/IFAS Extension. Original publication date November 1993. Revised March 2024. Visit the EDIS website at for the currently supported version of this publication.

About the Authors

Edward F. Gilman, professor emeritus; Dennis G. Watson, former associate professor, Department of Agricultural and Biological Engineering; Ryan W. Klein, assistant professor, arboriculture; and Deborah R. Hilbert, UF/IFAS Gulf Coast Research and Education Center; Department of Environmental Horticulture; UF/IFAS Extension, Gainesville, FL 32611.


  • Michael Andreu
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