Eucalyptus perriniana
Common Name: silver-dollar gum 
Type: Broadleaf evergreen
Family: Myrtaceae
Native Range: Southeastern Australia
Zone: 8 to 10
Height: 20.00 to 30.00 feet
Spread: 15.00 to 20.00 feet
Bloom Time: July to September
Bloom Description: White
Sun: Full sun
Water: Dry to medium
Maintenance: Medium
Suggested Use: Annual
Flower: Showy
Leaf: Colorful, Fragrant, Evergreen
Other: Winter Interest
Tolerate: Clay Soil, Dry Soil

Culture

Winter hardy to USDA Zones 8-10 where plants are best grown in dry to medium moisture, average to moderately fertile, well-drained soils in full sun. Tolerates light shade. Avoid significant shade. Tolerates nutritionally poor soils. Established trees have wide tolerances for soil type (light sandy soils to heavier clay soils). Do not fertilize. Susceptible to damage from sudden cold spells. Pruning techniques include coppicing and pollarding. This eucalyptus can be grown as a houseplant in a sunny south-facing window (6-8 hours of sun per day, consistently moist soil from spring to fall, and annual winter pruning to keep plants compact and bushy). Plants in containers are typically less drought tolerant than plants grown in the ground. Good indoor growth in containers can be difficult to achieve because of this tree's rapid growth rate (even with pruning it may rapidly outgrow the pot). Containers can be placed on sunny patios or sunk in the ground to the lip from spring to fall, but must be brought indoors in fall prior to first frost for overwintering.

Noteworthy Characteristics

Eucalyptus perriniana is native to Australia. It is commonly called spinning gum because the rounded, glaucous, stem-encircling, powdery-gray, juvenile leaves, after dying, will dry and spin in the wind around the stems. Lanceolate adult leaves (to 8" long and 1.5" wide) are gray-green. Leaves have a distinctive, sweet, mild menthol-like fragrance. This is a fast-growing, evergreen tree that typically matures to 20-30' tall. Apetalous, hermaphroditic, creamy white flowers bloom in clusters of three (umbels) in summer. Bark shreds in ribbons to form a dull white to light gray surface accented by brown and green patches. Stems with juvenile leaves are frequently used by florists in flower arrangements.

Genus name comes from the Greek words eu meaning well and kalypto meaning to cover, as with a lid and an allusion to the united calyx-lobes and petals forming a lid or cap which is shed when the flower opens.

Problems

No serious insect or disease problems. Coppice annually to control size and to insure good production of circular juvenile leaves if desired.

Garden Uses

Where winter hardy, it may be grown as an attractive ornamental tree in sunny landscape areas. May also be pruned to shrub form. Effective in sunny woodland margins. May also be grown in containers as a houseplant. May be grown from seed in St. Louis gardens in an annual shrubby form because of its rapid growth rate.