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Thursday, January 19, 2012

Eucalyptus sideroxylon - Red Iron Bark

The Red Iron Bark Eucalyptus is a fast growing evergreen tree, 40 - 90' tall x 30 - 50' wide with an upright form with several large primary scaffold branches and pendulous terminal branches. It has an overall gray blue color and attractive bark. Habit generally irregular, sort of lumpy, with tufts of foliage here and there. They are pretty common here and even more so in warmer areas over the hill.



This one shows the potential size as well as the weeping habit of the smaller branches.



Leaves are alternate, simple, lanceolate to ovate to slightly falcate, 3-6" long, blue gray color on both sides, leathery, and weeping from the thin stems.



Flowers range from white, to light pink to scarlet colored, coming from the stamens borne in large clusters. As mentioned in other posts on eucalyptus the flowers are all stamens, the sepals and petals are fused into a cap that falls off, you can sort of see one on the right of the picture.




Flower buds are pointed.



Fruit is a woody capsule typical of Eucs, about 3/8" diameter, tip of the capsule constricted to make it a bit urn shaped.



Stems are thin, reddish on the upper surface, weeping lightly due to the weight of the foliage.


Bark is beautiful, thick, brown to black with reddish underbark. Often with reddish crystals of resin. No flaking bark here, just persistent hard bark.



There is a cultivar 'Roseum' that is commonly planted but my guess is that most are called that even though they are seed grown and will have a wide variability of flower colors.

Misidentification:
Of all the Eucalyptus this one is petty obvious, bright pink flowers generally and the bark is very distinct.

Locations:
Monterey Blvd in Capitola has several.
Pretty common actually.

Watsonville:
Along Main St in the planting area by the intersection with Pennsylvania Dr.

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