Family: Eucryphiaceae

This small genus of six species of evergreen trees or shrubs from Chile and Australia are grown for their beautiful, large, white flowers, similar to single-flowered camellias. the trees are mainly columnar in shape and can be pruned after flowering if necessary. In cultiva­tion, some of the species may be deciduous, depending on conditions.


E. lucida, or Tasmanian leatherwood, zone 8, is a handsome evergreen from which is derived a pinkish coloured timber, but it is better known for its excellent, unusually flavored honey. It has glossy, green, oblong leaves, sil­very on the undersides, and open, pure white, four-petalled flowers, 2.5 cm (1 in) across. This species mostly reaches only 10 m (33 ft) under cultivation, but may be taller in the wild.

E. moorei, plum wood, zone 9, also yields a pinkish timber, used in building and cabinet-making. It is a variable tree, 5-10 m (16-33 ft) tall, with pinnate leaves and 2.5 cm (1 in) flow­ers in late summer, which makes a pretty orna­mental.

E. x nymansensis 'Nymansay', zone 7, a natural hybrid, is a lovely, small, compact tree, which grows quickly, in time reaching around 10-15 m (33-50 ft), and flowers early. The leaves, which may be simple or compound on the same plant, are elliptic, toothed at the edges and deep green in colour on the surface but lighter green beneath. The 6 cm (2½ in), white flowers have golden stamens. It will tol­erate some lime.


Eucryphias do best in a climate with cool to mild winters and humid summers. Most prefer a lime-free soil, and all need constant moisture and good drainage. Where possible, they should be sheltered from strong, drying winds. Choose a sunny site. Propagate from seed or semi-ripe cuttings.


There are species suited to various climatic zones.

Eucomis      Eugenia