We all know about the bad reputation of eucalypti, especially the notorious blue gum. They are too big, too aggressive, too messy, too structurally deficient, and in groups, they are too combustible. However, there are several eucalypti that are not only appropriate for local home gardens, but because of their resiliency, drought tolerance and adaptability to the local environment, should be more popular than they are.
Red flowering gum, Eucalyptus ficifolia (which is now known as Corymbia ficifolia), rarely gets more than thirty feet tall and broad, with a stout branch structure. It is a good street tree because the roots are usually deep and complaisant. Constantly falling leaves and seed capsules are somewhat messy, but the mess is proportionate to the compact canopy, and is probably worth the spectacular summer and autumn bloom.
Fuzzy trusses of staminate flowers are usually some shade of red, but might be pink, salmon, reddish orange or pale white. Trees must be a few years old to bloom, so color might be a surprise when young trees bloom for the first time. Profusion of bloom can be variable from year to year, or from one portion of the canopy to another. Tree size and form are also variable. Some are vigorous while others are more compact.