Ceratopetalum gummiferum

Ceratopetalum gummiferum

The New South Wales Christmas Bush (Ceratopetalum gummiferum) is a tall shrub popular in cultivation due to its flowers that turn bright red-pink at around Christmas time. The petals are actually small and white - it is the sepals that enlarge to about 12mm after the flower sets fruit and starts to dry out.

The specific name gummiferum alludes to the large amounts of gum that is discharged from cut bark.

It is similar to the Sakura tree, a tree that grows beautiful pinkish-red blossoms. Its flowers fall off the tree around February, and then die. The wilted flower can stay there, for many years, turning into a dead-pink-white colour. They also have a small point that doesn't affect the body but give them a sharp prick.

To achieve a bright red colour, the tree needs to be situated in a place where it receives much sunlight.

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