Far Out Flora

Plant ID Week Five Faves


This week our Plant ID class was all about the Myrtaceae family, with a few others thrown in.  Here are our top three picks:

Eucalyptus pulverulenta - Silver Mountain Gum

This is where decorative eucalyptus comes from. Love it, but guess it doesn’t make a great ornamental tree due to its “irregular form”. The Encyclopedia of Stanford Trees, Shrubs and Vines describes it best, “This plant clearly has little interest in becoming an upright tree, and is happy to send its branches down as well as up. To be polite you could say it is a designer tree.” Who knew Stanford had an encyclopedia of all their trees, shrubs and vines?

Callistemon citrinus - Lemon Bottle Brush

We like Callistemons. They’re very exotic to Wisconsinites. I have a little dwarf dude out back. Sometimes I think he doesn’t flower enough, but he’s young. Not a whole lot more to say about these guys.

Aesculus californica - California Buckeye

Native to California this deciduous tree loses its leaves in July/August due to lack of water. It’s normal, but kind of weird. It hangs on to its seed pods for a funky silhouette. The good news is it gets an early Spring start as you can see in the pic above.


  1. I have seen a version of the first one (maybe the same one, maybe not) in native floral arrangement – very unique leaves. And the second one – love it. We get them here in Aust too. The 3rd one is nice – such a lovely green – I guess that’s the colour of spring…

  2. Back in 1994 I was an exchange student in Perth :) I know I saw a lot of Eucalypts and other Myrtaceae family friends like the the Callistemon, but never knew what they were. Quite a few Australian natives are really popular in San Francisco. They’re everywhere really.

  3. Pingback: SF Botanical Gardens Fresh « Far Out Flora's Blog

  4. Cool idea for a class! Love the eucalypts and callistemons – all of them. I remember both from my CA childhood and visits to OZ. We can only grow a few of the hardier ones in PDX, but I have e. pauciflora ssp. debuezevillii that’s three years old and very happy and gorgeous!

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