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Plant Highlight: Eucalyptus erythrocorys

October 2003

Of all the species of Eucalyptus, Eucalyptus erythrocorys has one of the most unusual bud-caps. Like other species it lacks petals, relying instead on the tuft of colored stamens for floral showiness. The stamens are initially concealed under a bud-cap, which is pushed off by the developing stamens as they mature. E. erythrocorys is known as the red-cap gum because the bud-caps are scarlet in color. They also have a wonderful rough texture and ridges that form a cross. The red color of the caps contrasts nicely with the yellow burst of stamens that emerges when they are shed. The tree is of modest proportions, reaching a height of about 20-25 feet. It has sickle-shaped green leaves, a white trunk, and branches which are reddish at the tips. It is not widespread in nature, occurring only in a small area of Western Australia a little north of Perth.

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