Eucalyptus vernicosa - Varnished Gum

Eucalyptus vernicosa - Varnished Gum


The Varnished Gum. A very rare dwarf Eucalyptus from Tasmania and exceptionally hardy to boot!   Generally grows to about 1m tall in 3-4 years.  Bushy habit out the outset, becoming for columnar with age. Call us on 0751 526 1511 for help in choosing your Eucalyptus.  


Why we like this variety:-

  • Small, neat and bushy with very shiny foliage
  • Great for patio pots
  • Very easy to grow
  • Suitable for even the smallest garden


Botanical Name: Eucalyptus vernicosa                     MYRTACEÆ; Myrtle Family

Common Name: Varnished Gum

Status: Evergreen Tree

Origin: from the windswept alpine ridges and heaths of Tasmania where it grows almost exclusively above the timberline.


Nursery Notes 2020:  we only produce this incredibly rare plant in small numbers. 3 litre stock is now ranging in height from 30 cm up to 120cm+ tall

Description, habit,  uses and attributes:   Probably the smallest hardy Eucalyptus species in the world!  Can be variable in size ultimately, but usually only grows to about 1m tall over 3-4 years.  It could eventually grow to a small tree of 3-4 m tall over about 20 years or so, but generally is cultivated as an attractive garden shrub.  It is closely related to E. johnstonii and E. subcrenulata, and has leaves of the same shade of dark apple green.

Shoots 'n Leaves: Young shoots are shiny and dark green, with a touch of chestnut.

Juvenile foliage: Small oval/rounded with a point at the apex. Very often the leaves remain juvenile throughout the life of the plant.  Dark green and very glossy as though they have been varnished

Adult foliage: emulates the juvenile foliage but on a short petiole.

Bark: silvery coffee brown bark, which becomes gnarled with age

Flowers: white flowers eventually

Leaf Aroma: typical Eucalyptus aroma

Rate of Growth: incredibly slow for a Eucalyptus

Height in maturity, if left unpruned:  1m tall in the short term. May be up to 3-4m over many decades

Hardiness: Very, very hardy, tolerates down to  -16°C to -18°C in maturity, on a good site

Planting Position and Soil Preference: Full sun in ordinary to moist but free draining soil. Tolerates exposed, windy, horrible conditions, including poorly drained land.  Could be trialled on coastal sites. We have found that the best specimens in the nursery are those with access to a lot of water and never allowed to fully dry out. If growing in a pot, never ever let the soil become dry, because E. vernicosa will have a monumental sulk!  For lush green growth, keep exceptionally well watered and liquid feed, on a weekly basis, during the growing season (as you do with all your other potted subjects!). Then it will produce a very rewarding dark green shrub.


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Grafton Nursery,


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07307 413 052

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