Common name: Silver Princess

Family: MYRTACEAE

Eucalyptus caesia in flower. Photo: D. Blumer.View image slideshow

Origin of Scientific Name

Eucalyptus – (Greek) eu – well, and calyptos – covered; in reference to the flower bud which has an operculum or cap.

caesia – (Latin) Feminine form of caesius – bluish-grey.

magna – (Latin) great.

Description

A favourite of many, the Silver Princess is a mallee that certainly catches the eye. Growing up to 14 m high, Eucalyptus caesia subsp. magna has silvery pendulous branches with blue-grey/mid-green leaves and attractive ‘minni-ritchi' bark - a type of reddish brown bark that continuously peels in small, curly flakes, leaving the tree looking like it has a coat of red, curly hair. Stems and flower buds are covered with a powdery white bloom giving a silver appearance, hence the common name.

But that’s not all, its large stunning flowers that appear in autumn and winter grow up to 50 mm across and vary from pink to red, though white-flowered plants have been reported. These flowers attract nectar-feeding birds, making it a great choice for your garden. Flowering is followed by large, urn-shaped ‘gumnuts' that vary in colour from waxy white to shiny red – a great addition to gift wrapping.

In the wild, Eucalyptus caesia subsp. magna is found on granite outcrops in fairly sparse populations in the Central Wheatbelt region of Western Australia. Although commonly grown as ornamental native plants, they have become rare in the wild and are classed as a Priority species (rare but not currently threatened by any identifiable factors).

Horticultural tips

  • Grown easily from seed sown all year round in temperate climates, avoiding the very hottest months and the very coldest in areas prone to frost.
  • Grows poorly when over-shadowed by larger trees.
  • Can be periodically cut back to the lignotuber at ground level to reinvigorate the plant if it has become straggly with age.

For more horticultural tips view our Plant Notes section.

View in Kings Park

Visit Kings Park and Botanic Garden to see the Silver Princess at the entrance to the Western Australian Botanic Garden, in the Wheatbelt Flora beds along Forrest Drive or at the Kings Park Education building.

Want more information?

Refer to the profile for this plant on the Department of Biodiversity, Conservation and Attractions' FloraBase online herbarium.

Silver Princess growing in Kings Park. Photo: D. Blumer. Eucalyptus caesia pods. Photo: D. Blumer. Bark of the Silver Princess Silver Princess in bloom in Kings Park. Photo: D. Blumer.

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