Corymbia eximia

Yellow Bloodwood

Family: Myrtaceae

A tree growing to 20 m tall, forming a lignotuber.

It is endemic to New South Wales, occurring from west of Nowra on the south coast, north through the lower parts of the Blue Mountains to the Hunter Valley which is it northern limit. It is common on sandstone areas around greater Sydney.

The distinctive bark is a yellowish fawn colour, and flaky, rough in consistency with a somewhat tessellated pattern.

Seedlings have opposite leaves for the first three six pairs, and these are elliptic to lanceolate in shape.

The adult leaves are greyish-green, thick with prominent venation, and lanceolate (spear-shaped) or falcate (sickle-shaped) with a prominent raised yellow midrib and tapering apex, to about 20 cm long and 3 cm wide. They are arranged alternately along the stems and are the same colour above as below the leaf (concolorous).

The primary inflorescence of “eucalypts” (Angophora / Corymbia / Eucalyptus) is an umbellaster (an umbel-like cluster of flowers). In this species, they are formed in groups of 7. The umbellasters are clustered into terminal panicles or corymb-like groups, produced beyond the leaves. Each flower is about 3 cm across, bright white-cream in colour. In Corymbia and Eucalyptus, the petals and sepals are fused into the distinctive calyptra (bud cap) which is shed when the flower opens. The conspicuous stamens give the flowers their appearance.

The fruit is a capsule (commonly called “gumnut”) are typically urn-shaped in most bloodwoods; to 20 mm long by 15 mm wide. The seeds are without wings and are mature by December and remain on the tree for up to 16 months.

Seeds are reddish brown, 5 to 8 mm long, flattened ovoid to boat-shaped with the dorsal surface smooth and usually cracked and not winged.

In the garden

Corymbia eximia is highly ornamental, especially when in flower, and is occasionally planted as a street or parkland tree. It deserves to be more widely used as it is highly attractive to flower feeding insects and birds. Tolerates light frost, poor soils and drought.

Trees live for over a hundred years.

The grey-headed flying fox (Pteropus poliocephalus) browse on and pollinate the flowers.

It is highly sensitive to the white leaf and shoot blight.

Can grow to a tree at least 10 m tall, so allow some room to grow, in plenty of light.

There is a dwarf form sold of this plant that reportedly grows 6 to 8 m high (see references).


From cutting as seed may not come true to form.

Other information

The only other bloodwood in the general area of occurrence of C. eximia is C. gummifera (Red Bloodwood) which differs by having firm tessellated rough bark predominantly grey-black, leaves dark green above and paler below, buds without an operculum scar.

Eucalyptus eximia was transferred into the new genus Corymbia in 1995 when it was erected by Ken Hill and Lawrie Johnson. It is still seen under the earlier name in some works.

Corymbia is a genus of about 115 species. It is reported that 110 of these are endemic to Australia, occurring in all states, except for Tasmania. 4 other species occur in Australia and New Guinea. 1 species is endemic to New Guinea. Previously, all Corymbia spp. were classified as Eucalyptus spp. A study showed that this group were more closely related to Angophora than Eucalyptus. The reclassification of these ‘eucalypts’ into Corymbia created much controversy in a wide range of circles (i.e., horticultural, botanical and political!). NSW currently has 10 species with 1 naturalised.

Regenerates after bushfire by epicormic buds and lignotuber as well as seed. 

Corymbia – from the Latin corymbium, meaning “corymb” (a raceme of flowers in which the peduncles of the lower flowers are longer than those of the upper flowers so that the inflorescence has an overall even-curved apex (similar to the appearance of a piece of broccoli or cauliflower).

eximia – Latin meaning uncommon or outstanding (exceptional / extraordinary) and refers to the showy flowers of the tree.

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

EUCLID – Eucalypts of Australia – Centre for Australian National Biodiversity Research – Corymbia eximia profile page https://apps.lucidcentral.org/euclid/text/entities/corymbia_eximia.htm

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

Gardening with Angus – Corymbia eximia ‘Nana’ profile page https://www.gardeningwithangus.com.au/corymbia-eximia-nana-dwarf-yellow-bloodwood/

By Jeff Howes. Editing and additional text by Dan Clarke.