Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Eucalyptus pauciflora ssp. debeuzevilli: my favorite plant in the garden this week


Riffing on the meme over at danger garden, I'm excited to share this stately Eucalyptus with you this week. As we sat in the garden on Father's Day with our family and guests, I realized we were finally in the welcome filtered shade of our five-year-old Jounama Snow Gum.

I love its powdery blue-gray leaves.


They look spectacular combined with the red of Crocosmia 'Lucifer' in this shot from last summer.

The young bark is beautifully mottled in green, gray, brown and even white, while the older bark is wrapped with color bands and fissures.



Even the oldest bark adds interest as it peels off.

Both the new leaves and the dying leaves are a warm, cinnamon-orange and they look great punctuating the wealth of gray-green foliage.


I chose this particular species because of its reputed cold-hardiness, and it has sailed through some severely cold Portland winters over the five years it has been in. I also wanted a tree that was fairly open and wouldn't add too much shade to my sunny back garden area.

The stats on Eucalyptus pauciflora ssp. debeuzevilli:

   • Hardy in zones 8a to 9b. One of the best adapted Eucs for the Pacific Northwest - can even stand
      sub-freezing wind
   • 20 to 30 feet tall, with an open, umbrella-shaped canopy. Up to 70 feet in Australia - yikes!
   • Sun and well-drained soil
   • Water only until established, then no supplemental water

Some sources recommend cutting it back by one third in its second year to establish a strong root system. I couldn't bring myself to do it, and lived to regret my pruning timidity after the tree leaned increasingly over the next two winters.

Last year I removed a main branch fairly low on the trunk to restore the Euc's balance. It seems to be working, and luckily, the cut isn't very evident.

I know that Eucalyptus trees have a bad reputation in California, but I grew up with them and have always loved their slim, graceful stature and dusky foliage. I'm really happy to have this memory of my childhood embodied in a lovely and thriving tree in my own Portland garden.



18 comments:

  1. Very beautiful...it seems like just yesterday it was a tiny twig!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Time marches ever more quickly, Scott!

      Delete
  2. That is a beautiful tree, I can see why you love it so much. Thanks for the great closeups of the bark and leaves.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. This beautiful tree is composed of its beautiful details, Alison.

      Delete
  3. Gorgeous, I planted E. Morrisbyi and E. Campphora . Got them cheap cheap at the Viscaya sale last summer. I did cut them to about a foot from the ground and they were tall when I bought them. One was growing almost horizontal , so I did the deed. They're both growing back nice and full !

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. You are so smart to be ruthless early on, Linda. I''ll enjoy seeing them as they mature. Please post!

      Delete
  4. Nothing beats their glaucous leaves and beautiful trunks unless it's the wonderful fragrance.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yes, Peter, my nose isn't good but occasionally I get that characteristic resinous note.

      Delete
  5. Stunning!!! That is the best euc for the PNW! They are not available that often up here. Most of what we see are e. gunnii, coccifera, neglecta and parvula. If I ever come across one like yours I'm buying it!!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Do it, Louis! I am positive you won't regret it!

      Delete
  6. Love the close ups, especially since they are only a preview to seeing it in person soon! Since you know there will be no eucalyptus in our garden I'll have to live vicariously through you and yours...

    ReplyDelete
  7. The deer did the pruning that I, too, was loathe to do. Even so, we needed to prop it up (I hope to get R to remove the props one day soon, as it looks ready to go it alone). I love the reddish leaves that it drops. I gather them and strew them on the nearby path. Yours is looking lush and lovely

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I'll be very interested to hear how the propping has helped, Ricki.

      Delete
  8. Wow - your post has me seriously considering a Eucalyptus for the first time... gorgeous foliage shots. Broadleaf evergreen, my favorite. And afer all, this isn't California.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yes, it may not be a native species, Julie, but it's drought tolerant and graceful - two winning points in its favor. There are some nice cold-hardy species in this group: http://plantlust.com/search/#genus=Eucalyptus

      Delete

Thank you in advance for jumping through the annoying but necessary word verification hoop to leave your thoughts!