Lophostemon confertus


An attractive, desirable tree offering an opportunity to replace some Eucalyptus species; an online search will easily find images of Lophostemon confertus, or Brisbane box, used as an elegant street tree. Is this the right use for this tree? That same search will also find trees with massive trunk flares (example shown below) that will exceed standard tree well sizes. Cal Poly's Urban Forest Ecosystems Institute recommends providing planting spaces greater than ten feet, because the tree "may be larger in warmer areas." California is one of those areas where it may thrive and become larger than expected. Certainly, if provided ample space for it to thrive long-term, then we have a winning ornamental tree.

facts

Botanical Name: Lophostemon confertus

Lophostemon: Greek, lophos for crest, for the appearance of the flower and its stamens.

Confertus: Crowded together, for the dense foliage

Common Name: Brisbane box; vinegar tree

Family Name: Myrtaceae


Origin: Australia


design considerations


Positioning: Background

Garden Themes: Sub-tropical, Mediterranean, woodland

Uses: Street tree, lawn, shade, public spaces/parks, large planters, utility (hardwood is desirable for wood products)


identifying characteristics


Type: Evergreen tree

Form: Upright, erect

Texture: Coarse

Size: 45' tall, 25' wide (native environment to nearly 100')


Outstanding Feature(s): Flower, bark


Bark: Red-brown, exfoliating

Leaf:

  • Type: Simple

  • Arrangement: Alternate

  • Shape: Ovate

  • Margin: Entire

  • Color: Bronze new growth turning dark green

  • Surface: Leathery, smooth

Flower: Summer. White to cream clusters with prominent stamens

Fruit: Capsules


cultural requirements, tolerances & problems


Sunset Zones: 15-17, 19-24; H1, H2

USDA Zones: 9-12


Light: Sun to partial shade

WUCOLS SF Bay Area Hydro Zone: Moderate

Soil:

  • Texture: Sand, loam, clay, well composted

  • Moisture Retention: Evenly moist with brief dryness

  • pH: Highly acidic to highly alkaline

Tolerances: Smog, drought

Problems:

  • Branch Strength: Strong

  • Insects:

  • Disease: Chlorosis

citations & attributions


Bayton, R. (2019). The Royal Horticultural Society's the Gardener's Botanical: An Encyclopedia of Latin Plant Names. London: Mitchell Beazley.


Norris Brenzel, K. (Ed.). (2012). The New Sunset Western Garden Book. New York: Time Home Entertainment, Inc.


Plants for a Future. "Lophostemon confertus - (R.Br.) Peter G.Wilson & J.T.Waterh." Plants for a Future, Dawlish. Accessed on August 9, 2021, from https://pfaf.org/user/Plant.aspx?LatinName=Lophostemon+confertus.


SelecTree. UFEI. "Lophostemon confertus Tree Record." 1995-2021. Cal Poly State University, San Luis Obispo. Accessed on Aug 9, 2021, from https://selectree.calpoly.edu/tree-detail/1425.


Water Use Classification of Landscape Species. "WUCOLS IV Plant List." University of California, Division of Agriculture and Natural Resources, Davis. Accessed on July 27, 2021.

https://ucanr.edu/sites/WUCOLS/Download_WUCOLS_IV_List/.


Photos:

3 views0 comments

Recent Posts

See All