The Red Flowering Gum, scientifically known as Corymbia ficifolia, is a spectacular native Australian tree renowned for its vibrant red flowers. It belongs to the Myrtaceae family and is primarily found in the south-western coastal regions of Western Australia. This tree is highly prized for its ornamental value and adaptability to various garden settings.


  • Size: Corymbia ficifolia typically grows to a height of 2 to 10 metres, making it suitable for both small and large gardens. In favourable conditions, it can reach up to 15 metres.
  • Bark: The bark is rough, fibrous, and persistent, with a greyish-brown colour.
  • Leaves: The leaves are dark green, lance-shaped, and measure 10-20 cm in length. They are glossy and have a leathery texture.
  • Flowers: The tree produces large, striking clusters of flowers ranging from red to pink, orange, or even cream. Flowering occurs mainly in summer (December to March), attracting a variety of pollinators, including birds and bees.
  • Fruit: The fruits are woody capsules containing numerous small seeds. They are urn-shaped and measure about 2-3 cm in length.

Growing Conditions

  • Climate: Prefers a Mediterranean climate with dry summers and wet winters. It can tolerate coastal conditions and some frost once established.
  • Soil: Grows best in well-drained soils, including sandy, loamy, and clay soils. It can tolerate poor soils but thrives in nutrient-rich substrates.
  • Sunlight: Requires full sun to develop its best flowering and growth form.
  • Watering: Once established, the Red Flowering Gum is drought-tolerant. However, young trees need regular watering to ensure proper establishment.

Uses and Benefits

  • Ornamental: Highly valued for its stunning flowers, the Red Flowering Gum is a popular choice for street planting, parks, and home gardens. It adds vibrant colour and attracts wildlife.
  • Shade and Shelter: Provides good shade due to its dense foliage, making it an excellent choice for providing shelter in gardens and landscapes.
  • Ecological: The flowers provide nectar for birds and bees, promoting biodiversity. The tree also supports native wildlife by offering habitat and food sources.
  • Erosion Control: Its root system helps stabilise soil, making it useful for erosion control on slopes and embankments.

Corymbia ficifolia, or the Red Flowering Gum, is a versatile and visually stunning tree that can enhance any garden or landscape. Its adaptability, low maintenance requirements, and ecological benefits make it an excellent choice for gardeners looking to add a splash of colour and support local wildlife. Proper planting and care will ensure that this beautiful native tree thrives and continues to be a focal point in your garden for years to come.


Growing Corymbia ficifolia (Red Flowering Gum) from seed can be a rewarding process. Here’s a step-by-step guide to help you successfully plant and grow this beautiful native Australian tree.

1. Seed Collection and Preparation

  • Seed Collection: Collect seeds from mature seed capsules. The capsules should be brown and woody, typically maturing in late summer to autumn.
  • Seed Extraction: Place the seed capsules in a paper bag and store them in a warm, dry place. The capsules will open, releasing the seeds. Shake the bag to separate the seeds from the capsule fragments.
  • Seed Treatment: Soak the seeds in warm water for 24 hours to help soften the seed coat and improve germination rates.

2. Sowing Seeds

  • Seed Tray Preparation: Fill seed trays or small pots with a well-draining seed-raising mix. A mix of 50% sand and 50% peat or compost works well.
  • Sowing Depth: Sow the seeds on the surface of the soil and lightly cover them with a thin layer (about 1-2 mm) of the seed-raising mix or fine sand.
  • Spacing: Space the seeds about 1-2 cm apart in the tray to allow for growth and reduce competition.

3. Germination

  • Watering: Gently water the seed trays to keep the soil consistently moist but not waterlogged. Use a spray bottle or a fine mist to avoid disturbing the seeds.
  • Temperature: Keep the seed trays in a warm, sunny location. The ideal temperature for germination is between 20°C and 25°C.
  • Light: Ensure the seeds receive plenty of indirect sunlight. If growing indoors, place the trays near a bright window or under grow lights.
  • Germination Time: Seeds typically germinate within 2 to 4 weeks, but it can take longer, so be patient and continue to care for the seedlings.

4. Seedling Care

  • Thinning: Once the seedlings have developed a few sets of true leaves and are about 5-10 cm tall, thin them out if necessary to prevent overcrowding. Keep the strongest seedlings.
  • Transplanting: When the seedlings are about 10-15 cm tall and have a well-developed root system, they are ready to be transplanted into individual pots or directly into the garden.
  • Hardening Off: Before transplanting outdoors, harden off the seedlings by gradually exposing them to outdoor conditions over a week or two. Start by placing them outside in a sheltered spot for a few hours each day, gradually increasing the time.

By following these steps, you can successfully grow Corymbia ficifolia from seed and enjoy the beauty of this stunning native tree in your garden.

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Seed Count: 10

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