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Eucryphia cordifolia Flor del ulmo (RastaChango).jpg
Eucryphia cordifolia, South America
Eucryphia lucida (Leatherwood) flower.jpg
Eucryphia lucida, Tasmania, Australia
Scientific classification e
Kingdom: Plantae
Clade: Tracheophytes
Clade: Angiosperms
Clade: Eudicots
Clade: Rosids
Order: Oxalidales
Family: Cunoniaceae
Genus: Eucryphia

See text

Eucryphia is a small genus of trees and large shrubs native to the south temperate regions of South America and coastal eastern Australia, mainly Tasmania. Sometimes placed in a family of their own, the Eucryphiaceae, more recent classifications place them in the Cunoniaceae. There are seven species, two in South America and five in Australia, and several named hybrids.


They are mostly evergreen though one species (E. glutinosa) is usually deciduous.

The leaves are opposite, and either simple or pinnate with 3-13 leaflets. The flowers are produced in late summer or autumn, are showy and sweetly scented, 3–6 cm diameter, with four creamy-white petals, and numerous stamens and styles. The fruit is a woody capsule 1-1.5 cm long containing several seeds, and maturing in 12–15 months.


The nectar of two of the species provides an important sources of honey. Eucryphia lucida from Tasmania is the main source of a very distinctively flavoured honey known as Leatherwood (the common name for the species). Some of this honey may come from the other Tasmanian species, E. milliganii. In Chile, Ulmo honey (again after the local species name) comes from E. cordifolia. Leatherwood honey and Ulmo honey are very similar in flavour, even though the two species have probably been separated for more than 45 million years.

The generic name is derived from the Greek for "well hidden".


Hybrids and cultivars[edit]

(those marked agm have gained the Royal Horticultural Society's Award of Garden Merit)[3]

  • E. × intermedia (E. glutinosa × E. lucida)
    • E. × intermedia 'Rostrevor'agm[4]
  • E. × hillieri (E. moorei × E. lucida): Developed from a self-sown seedling at the nursery of Hillier & Sons, Chandlers Ford in Hampshire around 1953.[5]
  • E. × nymansensis (E. cordifolia × E. glutinosa)
    • E. × nymansensis 'Nymansay'agm[6] originated from Lt. Col. Leonard C.R. Messel's garden at Nymans, Sussex (1913)[5]
    • E. × nymansensis 'Nymans Silver' is a sport discovered at Nymans, Sussex in 2005. It is a variegated form with serrated oval leaves that are outlined in creamy white. It was discovered growing on a E. × nymansensis within the garden. It is considered to be faster growing and more columnar in nature. The name 'Nymans Silver' was proposed by Philip Holmes, Deputy Head Gardener at Nymans.' [1]
  • E. 'Penwith' (E. cordifolia × E. lucida)
  • E. × hybrida (E. glutinosa × E. lucida)

Extinct species[edit]


The species and their hybrids are attractive small trees for gardens, typically with a slender conic crown when young, though widening with age. They are valued for their conspicuous scented flowers, produced in late summer and autumn when few or no other trees are in flower. Cultivation is restricted to areas with mild winters, cool summers and good rainfall; away from their native areas, this restricts them to the Atlantic coastal regions of Europe, the Pacific Northwest of North America, and New Zealand.


  1. ^ a b c Forster, Paul I.; Hyland, Bernie P. M. (1997). "Two new species of Eucryphia Cav. (Cunoniaceae) from Queensland". Austrobaileya. 4 (4): 589–596. JSTOR 41738890.
  2. ^ F.A. Zich; B.Hyland; T. Whiffen; R.A. Kerrigan. "Eucryphia wilkiei". Australian Tropical Rainforest Plants (RFK8). Centre for Plant Biodiversity Research, Australian Government. Retrieved 26 May 2021.
  3. ^ "AGM Plants - Ornamental" (PDF). Royal Horticultural Society. July 2017. p. 37. Retrieved 19 February 2018.
  4. ^ "RHS Plant Selector - Eucryphia × intermedia 'Rostrevor'". Retrieved 7 June 2020.
  5. ^ a b Willis, James H. (1966). "Eucryphia: Extra Tasmanian Members". Australian Plants. ASGAP. 3 (26): 255. ISSN 0005-0008.
  6. ^ "RHS Plant Selector - Eucryphia × nymansensis 'Nymansay'". Retrieved 7 June 2020.
  7. ^ a b c Hill, Robert S. (1991). "Leaves of Eucryphia (Eucryphiaceae) from tertiary sediments in south-eastern Australia". Australian Systematic Botany. 4 (3): 481–497. doi:10.1071/SB9910481.

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