Did you know that Eucalyptus trees are in the same Myrtle family of plants as the Crepe Myrtle? It’s a diverse group that includes Clove, Guava, and Allspice. Now like any good cook, I love my Allspice. And like any Southern Gardener, I love my Crepe Myrtles. So much that I have 18 ‘Natchez’ lining my driveway. I like the white blooms and fall colors, but have always admired the smooth exfoliating bark on mature trees, especially in the South where a tree’s trunk often plays second fiddle to its flower.
15 year old 'Natchez' Crepe Myrtle
Eucalyptus trees, like their crepe cousins, share a similar blind faith from their admirers. Their evergreen blue to silver to green foliage is fragrant and used for everything from candy making to medicines. It’s a well-deserved first attribute when folks think about Eucs. But one look at a 2 year old Eucalyptus rubida ‘Cab Sav’s’ bark in our McDonough Trials might get you to rethink your priorities. It did me!
2 year old Eucalyptus rubida 'Cab Sav'
The cinnamon and orange paper thin bark that is peeling back to reveal a cream trunk is stunning. Never saw those bright sharp colors and delicate layers on any of my beloved crepes, and those trees lining my driveway are over 15 years old.