Real World Gardener Water Gum in Plant of the Week

September 26th, 2019


Tristaniopsis laurina: Water Gum


This week we have a native plant that has Tristaniopsis laurina or Water gum is like the native version of Crepe myrtles, with interesting bark, leaves and flowers.

It’s in the Myrtaceae family but it’s not a gum tree.


Water gum in flower: I'ts not a gum tree.

Let’s find out what’s good about this one.

I'm speaking with Adrian O’Malley, horticulturist and native plant expert.

But are the flowers perfumed? Adrian thought not but apparently they do have a perfume.

There’s an updated version called Tristaniopsis laurina ‘Luscious.”that grows up to 8m in height.

Leaves are dark green, shiny and large with a dense canopy.

New growth starts out a distinctive copper colour and further interest appears over time with the branches developing deep purple coloured bark which peels back to reveal a smooth, cream trunk.

Flowers are yellow and sweetly perfumed, appearing in clusters through summer.


If you have any questions for me or for Adrian or would like some seeds of this tree, please write in to

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