Angophora floribunda

Rough-barked Apple

Family: Myrtaceae

A large tree (rarely a mallee), reaching up to 30 m tall.  It is a very widespread tree in a variety of habitats in NSW. Its primary occurrence is from south-eastern Victoria, along the whole of the NSW coast into central Queensland. However, there are also records in western Victoria into the east of South Australia; and also in northern Queensland.

In NSW, it extends from the coast into the Central and Northern Tablelands and Slopes, as well as the north-western plains.

It is typically found on alluvial and sandy areas, on many creeklines and lower valleys in inland NSW, forming an integral component of dry sclerophyll woodlands and forests. It can grow in monocultural stands in some areas.

It also regenerates heavily in many areas, through copious seedlings, where regeneration is allowed to occur.

The bark is fibrous and continuous, somewhat resembling a mahogany or stringybark-type eucalypt. However, the contorted canopy is readily identifiable.

The juvenile foliage / coppicing growth is usually broad-lanceolate to narrow-elliptic, to 9 cm long and 4 cm wide, lighter green to blue-green in colour.

The adult leaves remain opposite to sub-opposite, lanceolate 12 cm long and up to 3 cm wide with a petiole over 1 cm – green to blue-green in colour and somewhat pendulous. 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 7 mm long and to 7 mm wide. The petals are very short – about 4 mm long. The buds are usually green in colour. Flowering can be observed in November to March 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 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.

A very nice tree in landscaping and bushland revegetation projects (where habitat is suitable). It has a very attractive canopy and bark. Old trees can have a very impressive girth at the base (in locations such as farm creeklines). They can grow to a large tree, so not overly suited to small backyards. However, they could be tried as a specimen tree in a larger yard within a lawn.

In the garden

A reliable tree and easy to grow, even on heavier soils. It does best on a sandy soil but will establish and grow well on a clay soil. Very useful for creeklines.

Very attractive flowers in Summer. Good shade tree. 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 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 floribunda is known to intergrade with Angophora subvelutina. It is also known to integrade with A. bakeri. A. subvelutina has distinctive heart-shaped leaves on shorter petioles or can lack petioles (sessile) and has a generally more distinctive canopy. A. bakeri has thinner leaves and is usually a smaller tree. 

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

Angophora is a genus of 10 to 13 species (dependent 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.

floribunda – Latin – referring to its floriferous or free-flowering nature. It flowers reliably and produces a lot of fruits.

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

NSW Flora Online (PlantNET) – Angophora floribunda profile page         https://plantnet.rbgsyd.nsw.gov.au/cgi-bin/NSWfl.pl?page=nswfl&lvl=sp&name=Angophora~floribunda

EUCLID – Centre for Australian National Biodiversity Research – Angophora floribunda profile page

Wikipedia – Angophora floribunda profile page                   https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Angophora_floribunda

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