Originally from Australia, eucalyptus trees grow all over the world, varying in size from less than 3 metres (10 feet) to over 30 metres (100 feet). There are more than 500 species of eucalyptus, which are valued for their aesthetic beauty, characteristic rounded foliage, and the unique colouring of both the leaves and trunk. Commercially, eucalyptus is used as an aroma in candles, shampoos and perfumes, and the tree itself also emits this lively scent.
Trees for cooler climates
Several species of dwarf eucalyptus are frost hardy and suitable for cooler climates. "Little Star" is bush-like and grows to 5.5 metres (18 feet). This species' aesthetic appeal lies in the contrast of its olive leaves against a golden-yellow trunk. One frost-hardy tree that can tolerate hot summers as well is "Wolgan Snow Gum," which grows to around 5.5 metres (18 feet) and features a white trunk and red stems. "Baeuerlen's Gum" also has showy red stems and grows to 6 metres (20 feet). "Blue Mountain Mallee" is another dwarf eucalyptus suitable in cold temperatures.
"Euky Dwarf" is a 4.6 metre (15 feet) tree that grows in warmer areas in well draining soil. Its pink and red flowers are long lasting, blooming from spring through late summer. Another red-flowering tree, "Rosea," stands 6 metres (20 feet) tall and has a white trunk. This tree's red blooms appear in the autumn. A top choice for autumn foliage colour is "Yellow Top Mallee," which displays a range of brilliant coloured leaves in the autumn.
A few of the smaller dwarf varieties may be planted in pots. "Barren Mountain Mallee" reaches 3.6 metres (12 feet) tall and has a narrow stature. This variety is frost hardy and a good choice for cold areas. Slender-shaped "Narrow Leaved Mallee Ash" grows to 3.6 metres (12 feet) and features a silver-green trunk. "Plunket Mallee" and "Little Sally," each reaching only 2.7 metres (9 feet), are good indoor specimens. Lime foliage and cream flowers decorate the salmon trunk on "Plunket Mallee," while "Little Sally" features weeping foliage and cream flowers.
For the traditional rounded grey-blue leaves and silver trunk, there are many dwarf options. "Dwarf Sugar Gum" and "Little Snowman" grow in most areas in full sun. "Kybean Mallee Ash" is a bushy 7 metre (25 feet) tree that does well in alpine environments. A peppermint scent is unique on "Dry White," which has a narrow shape and dense foliage.