The many varied eucalypti never seem to outgrow the bad reputation of the blue gum and red gum eucalypti that get too big, messy and dangerous for urban gardens. Fortunately though, most others do not get nearly as large, and many stay proportionate to urban gardens. Their smaller canopies are neither as messy, nor as structurally unsound. Their adaptability to so many California climates and tolerance of aridity are serious advantages.
Red ironbark eucalyptus, Eucalyptus sideroxylon, is one of the mid-sized eucalypti that can eventually get quite tall, so is probably best where it has room to grow. Pruning for containment in compact gardens is actually quite a bit of work. Their coffee colored and deeply furrowed bark on elegantly sculptural trunks and limbs contrast nicely behind the mint frosting colored and softly pendulous foliage. The lanceolate leaves are about five inches long and three quarters of an inch wide. Flowers are almost always pinkish red, but can be pink or white.