Common name: Red flowering gum

Family: MYRTACEAE

Corymbia ficifolia, red variety. Photo: D. Blumer.View image slideshow

Origin of Scientific Name

Corymbia – (Latin) corymbium, a "corymb" referring to the arrangement of flowers in clusters where the flowers branch from the stem at different levels but ultimately terminate at about the same level.

ficfolia – (Latin) ficus – the genus Ficus, and folium – leaf, referring to the similarity of its leaves to some fig (Ficus) species.

Description

Corymbia ficifolia is one of the most outstanding flowering trees in Australia with its masses of conspicuous flowers of red or vermillion-orange (rarely pink) that cover the canopy in summer, followed by large woody egg-shaped fruits known as honkey nuts.

This flowering gum grows up to 12 metres with rough non-shedding bark and usually a rounded and dense crown, making it an excellent shade tree. Its oval leaves are distinctive as they are dark green on top and paler green on their undersides.

It is a Western Australian native tree naturally restricted to the far south-west of WA, generally in the Walpole-Mt Frankland region, but with several small outlying populations further to the east. It grows on sandy soils in low-lying areas of heath or woodland.

Corymbia ficifolia is widely grown as an ornamental tree throughout southern Australia, with many grafted cultivars and hybrids also commercially available making it suitable for a range of environments.

Horticultural tips

  • Grows best on coastal sites in acidic sandy soils with a shallow fresh water table but will also grow on well-drained clays.
  • Prefers cooler southern Australian climate regions.
  • Best to purchase a grafted specimen for planting to ensure reliability of flower colour.
  • Provide irrigation during dry periods.

For more horticultural tips view our Plant Notes section.

View in Kings Park

Visit Kings Park and Botanic Garden to see Corymbia ficifolia in Wadjuk carpark and Roe Garden in the Western Australian Botanic Garden (refer to map).

Want more information?

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

Corymbia ficifolia, pink variety. Photo: D. Blumer.Corymbia ficifolia, orange variety. Photo: D. Blumer.Corymbia ficifolia growing near Kings Park Administration building. Photo: D. Blumer.

Administration car park closure

There will be limited access to the BGPA Administration building and the Kings Park Education and Learning building from Wednesday 15 June 2022 for approximately 8 weeks, due to ongoing Water Corporation works.

Water Corporation works

The Water Corporation is replacing approximately 700 metres of ageing water pipes between Mount Eliza Reservoir and Bellevue Terrace in Kings Park.

Bold Park disruption

Banksia Carpark in Bold Park is currently closed to the public due to stormwater damage.

Read all notices ...

BGPA secures European plant breeding rights

Kings Park-bred waxflower (Chamelaucium) varieties bred by Kings Park have had plant breeding rights secured in the European market for the next 20 years.

Floral clock debuts artistic new look

The much-loved Kings Park Floral Clock has debuted a whole new look with a modern floral makeover from an exciting artist.

Fire Ecology Burn

Researchers and bushland staff at Kings Park successfully carried out a scientific research burn in a section of Kings Park bushland earlier this month. 

Read all news ...

Read about weather and warnings ...

All events …