Highly fragrant foliage and nectar-rich flowers

Eucalyptus is a large genus of more than 700 species of mostly evergreen trees and some large shrubs. Fast-growing Australian natives, eucalyptuses grow up to 60 feet tall in their natural habitats but typically remain about 6 to 10 feet tall in home gardens here. The trees have attractive open habits. Modestly branched, the stems have smooth red-brown, gray, or powdery white bark when young with many species beautifully exfoliating and peeling as they age. The leaves on young eucalyptus are circular or heart shaped and silver to bluish green, often appearing frosted; but with age, they become long and ribbonlike and darken. The foliage is a popular addition to floral arrangements. Most eucalyptus bloom in summer, but some species bloom all year. However, the flowers are unusual. Umbellate, they do not have petals but are colorful sprays of stamens held by center cap. Nectar rich, they are highly attractive to bees.

Eucalyptuses grow best in sunny locations. They adapt to a wide range of soil types but will not tolerate soggy soils. Once established, they are drought tolerant. They prefer warm climates with moderate humidity. In colder climates, they are often grown in containers and moved indoors as temperatures cool.