Angophora bakeri

Narrow-leaved Apple

Family: Myrtaceae

A small tree reaching up to 10 m tall. It is has a much smaller range compared to some of its other relatives, growing primarily on the NSW Coast, from Nowra to Port Stephens, and west into the Hunter Valley and Blue Mountains. There is a disjunct population in the Grafton-Lismore area.

It is typically found on sandstone and transitional sandstone-shale habitats, on ridges and higher slopes.

The bark is fibrous and continuous, grey to brown.

The juvenile foliage / coppicing growth is usually narrow-lanceolate to 7.5 cm long and to 1.5 cm wide, mid to dark green in colour.

The adult leaves remain opposite to sub-opposite, lanceolate, to 10 cm long and up to 1 cm wide with a petiole to 1 cm – green to dark-green in colour and sometimes glossy. The leaves are not overly odorous and the underside of the leaves are much paler, with a distinctive fine reticulate venation which aids identification.

The primary inflorescence of “eucalypts” (Angophora / Corymbia / Eucalyptus) is an umbellaster (an umbel-like cluster of flowers). In Angophora, the flower still retains its small and free petals and sepals. They are not fused into a calyptra / operculum which is shed, as in Eucalyptus and Corymbia.

Flower buds are produced in umbellasters of 7, ovoid to globose to about 5 mm long and to 5 mm wide. The petals are very short – about 3 mm long. The buds are usually green in colour. Flowering can be observed in December to

February and individual flowers are up to 1 to 2 cm across, bright cream to white. Like Corymbia spp., Angophora spp. have flowers positioned beyond the foliage at the terminals. The umbellasters are often arranged in compound groups.

The capsules are ovoid to globose with conspicuous ribs and teeth, smaller than than those of A. hispida or A. costata, to 10 mm long by 10 mm wide with a flat disc. Fruits can typically be readily found on the ground, assisting identification.

In the garden

This is a much more suited Angophora for small gardens. It typically grows to about 10 m tall and is usually found smaller in the wild. It has a typically narrow canopy-spread. A useful tree in landscaping. They could be tried as a specimen tree in a larger yard within a lawn or in a spot where it is difficult getting other small trees to grow.

A reliable tree and easy to grow. It does best on a sandy soil but will establish and grow well on a clay soil. Very useful on a rocky ridge or shallow soil.

Very attractive flowers in Summer. It could be trained as a mallee once established by frequent cutting and pruning of main stems.

Not overly popular with gardens in these modern times but a very reliable and attractive small tree.

Angophora spp. can suffer problems from, caterpillars, leaf eating beetles, psyllids and borers to name a few. In undisturbed conditions, the numbers of eucalypt-feeding insects and their predators and parasites are in balance, so that they rarely cause tree death and most trees quickly recover from attack. In a home situation nature can get out of balance.


Seed would work best. Cuttings are difficult to start, but can be used in some species.

Other information

Angophora is one of three similar genera that are commonly referred to as “eucalypts”, the others being Corymbia and Eucalyptus.

Angophora bakeri is very similar to Angophora floribunda but has much narrower leaves. Intergrades are sometimes suspected from field observations. The two species can be found growing together.

Historically, this species has been treated as a complex with species A. crassifolia, A. exul and A. inopina all considered part of the variation. Some botanists still treat all of these species as included in a larger A. bakeri.

Regenerates very quickly after fire from lignotuber and epicormic shoots with coppicing growth. Can also be observed as numerous seedlings in the ground layer.

Angophora is a genus of 10 to 13 species (depending on results of ‘lumping’ and ‘splitting’), endemic to Australia, occurring only in the eastern mainland states. All 10 to 13 species can be found in New South Wales. 

Angophora – from the Greek word Angeio (spelt αγγειο) which means “vessels” such as “vases” or “pots”, and –phora meaning “bringing forth” or “carrying”, relating to the vase-like fruits (capsules) of many species.

bakeri – commemorating Richard Thomas Baker (1854-1941), an English economic botanist who migrated to Australia and published many eucalypt descriptions; worked for Forestry; lectured at the University of Sydney and was Curator at the Sydney Technological Museum.

This species is not considered to be at risk of extinction in the wild.

NSW Flora Online (PlantNET) – Angophora bakeri profile page

EUCLID – Centre for Australian National Biodiversity Research – Angophora bakeri subsp. bakeri profile page https://apps.lucidcentral.org/euclid/text/entities/angophora_bakeri.htm

Wikipedia – Angophora bakeri profile page 

Wrigley, J.W. & Fagg, M.I. (2001). Australian Native Plants – Propagation, cultivation and use in landscaping. 4th edition. New Holland Publishers, Pty. Ltd. Australia.

By Dan Clarke