Angophora hispida

Dwarf Apple

Family: Myrtaceae

A small tree or mallee, capable of reaching 7 to 10 metres tall but often seen much smaller, forming a lignotuber. It sometimes has a wide spread for a small tree.

It has a very limited natural distribution, endemic to NSW, north from around Wollongong, west to Lithgow and north to around Morisset.

It is typically found on sandstone and sandy areas in dry sclerophyll woodland, coastal shrubland and coastal heath.

The juvenile foliage / coppicing growth is vivid red and hairy (hispid) and very conspicuous.

Leaves are opposite, up to 3 cm long and 2 cm wide.

The adult leaves are opposite, ovate to elliptic, to 10 cm long and 5 cm wide with a cordate (squared-off) base and no petiole (sessile) and hispid (rough-sandpaper feel due to bristle-like hairs), green to grey-green in colour. These leaf features aid considerably in 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 11 mm long and 12 mm wide. The buds are hispid and red in colour.

Flowering can be observed in November to January and individual flowers are up to 2 to 3 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 campanulate with conspicuous ribs and teeth and are comparatively large, to 25 mm long by 20 mm wide with a flat disc.

In the garden

Not overly common in gardens and cultivation but they can be observed in landscapes and gardens. They grow relatively well on a well-drained soil in full sun. They are very suited to small gardens as they can be maintained as a low shrub. Shrubs can spread broadly to several metres so allow some space. Good as a street tree. 

Very useful as cut-foliage. May be frost sensitive. Prune periodically to encourage a desired shape, including training to a single leader if a tree form is desired. It can be cut to the ground (coppiced) if a mallee form with multiple trunks are preferred. 

Is very attractive to birds and insects and particularly bees when in flower. 

Valued as a source of pollen to make honey. 

Angophora 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

For further information refer to: http://anpsa.org.au/APOL2007/sep07-s1.html
Eucalyptus is one of three similar genera that are commonly referred to as “eucalypts”, the others being Corymbia and Angophora.

Regenerates very quickly after fire from lignotuber and epicormic shoots with coppicing growth bright red in colour and hispid.

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 (αγγειο) which means “vessels” such as “vases” or “pots”, and -phora “bringing forth” or “carrying”, relating to the vase-like fruits (capsules) of many species.

hispida – Latin – hispid – usually meaning “rough hairs”, due to the very conspicuous bristle-like hairs over the leaves, buds and fruits of the plant.

This species is not considered at risk of extinction in the wild but has a limited distribution.

NSW Flora Online (PlantNET) – Angophora hispida profile page

Gardening with Angus – Angophora hispida profile page https://www.gardeningwithangus.com.au/angophora-hispida-dwarf-apple-gum/angophora-hispida_apple-gum-1/ 

Wikipedia – Angophora hispida profile page                              https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Angophora_hispida

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 Jeff Howes. Editing and additional text by Dan Clarke.