Lemon Eucalyptus, Lemon-Scented Gum
Synonyms of Corymbia citriodora (6) (Updated on 1-3-23): Corymbia citriodora subsp. variegata (F.Muell.) A.R.Bean & M.W.McDonald, Corymbia variegata (F.Muell.) K.D.Hill & L.A.S.Johnson, Eucalyptus citriodora Hook., Eucalyptus maculata var. citriodora (Hook.) F.M.Bailey, Eucalyptus melissiodora Lindl., Eucalyptus variegata F.Muell.
Corymbia citriodora (Hook.) K.D.Hill & L.A.S.Johnson is the accepted scientific name for the Lemon Eucalyptus. The genus and species were named and described as such by Kenneth D. Hill and Lawrence Alexander Sidney Johnson in Telopea in 1995. It was previously named Eucalyptus citriodora by William Jackson Hooker in the Journal of an Expedition into the Interior of Tropical Australia in 1848.
As of 1-3-23 when this page was last updated, Plants of the World Online lists 91 species in the Corymbia genus. It is a member of the plant family Myrtaceae with 126 genera. Those numbers could change as updates are made on POWO.
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My Lemon Eucalyptus was sent by mistake by Wellspring Gardens in the spring of 2009. In fact, there were 2. They both did very well until I had to leave them behind in February 2013 when I sold the mansion in Mississippi and returned to the family farm in mid-Missouri. Corymbia citriodora have strange textured, long pointed leaves that have a stout lemon scent. One of them was branched out into 3 stems when it arrived and the other had a single stem and grew to almost 8 feet tall by the time I left. I kept them in the sunroom and on the front porch during the winter and outside in the backyard when it was warmer.
One thing I better mention is that when the first plants arrived by mistake, Suzanne (the lady I was working for) was very ill. The plants came and they were in tiny pots with labels with abbreviations on them. I didn’t place the order and didn’t realize until after she passed that something was strange. I took the order and compared it to the plants we had received and it didn’t make sense. I contacted the owner of Wellspring Gardens and explained what the order was for and what we had received. He said the plants we received were not the plants we ordered. He said he would send the correct plants but I decided to order different plants instead. I still had to pay extra because I ordered a lot of plants.
The Corymbia citriodora are very fast-growing trees for sure. Even though they did perfectly fine in their pots I know they would be much better off planted in the ground. Since they are fast growers and will reach 8′ tall within a couple of years it is probably best if you prune them. I had to stake mine because their trunks were not strong enough to support their weight. Pruning may help with that issue as well.
There is a link below that will take you to a website about growing your Lemon Eucalyptus. It says if you grow them in pots they will not grow more than 4′ tall… Well, that is not always the case since mine grew to nearly 8 feet tall in a 10″ pot in 4 years.
Origin: New South Wales and Queensland, Australia
Zones: USDA Zones 9a-11 (20-40° F)
Size: Grows to over 100’ IN NATURE
Light: Full sun to light shade
Soil: Well-drained soil
Water: Average water needs
I really liked my Lemon Eucalyptus with their AWESOME scent. They never gave me any problems and seemed content in a small pot. It always made me wonder what they would have done in a larger pot. I hated to give them up when I moved back to the family farm in mid-Missouri but I knew I wouldn’t have an adequate place for them. I left them with a good friend and fellow plant collector. Maybe someday I will buy another one.
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