Ceratopetalum gummiferum Sm.

New South Wales Christmas Bush

Shrub or small tree. Leaves of 3 leaflets each about 4-8 cm long and to 3 cm wide, stalkless, the margins with fine teeth. Flower clusters terminal, consisting of numerous white flowers, the petals to 3 mm long but the sepals prominent and enlarging with age to more than 1 cm long; spring. Fruits covered with the large pinkish sepals in summer.


Large pinkish sepals. A number of cultivars are grown, mostly for the ornamental sepals.

Source: Spencer, R. (2002). Cunoniaceae. In: Spencer, R.. Horticultural Flora of South-eastern Australia. Volume 3. Flowering plants. Dicotyledons. Part 2. The identification of garden and cultivated plants. University of New South Wales Press.

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Distribution map

Ceratopetalum gummiferum 'Albury'

S dwarf' Int. c.1989.

Ceratopetalum gummiferum 'Albury'

S Red', 'Fairley's Coral', 'Tangerine' and 'Woy Woy' are also listed. C. apetalum d. Don, Coachwood (Lightwood, Scented Satinwood), is occasionally offered; it is a tree from NSWand Qld with undivided leaves and attractive pink to red bracts.

Ceratopetalum gummiferum 'Christmas Snow'

Slightly slower growing than the usual form. Leaves variegated green and white. Int. c. 1975.

Ceratopetalum gummiferum 'Magenta Star'

Leaves purplish. Selected by Ray Brown of Bulli, nsw, and int. c. 1987.

Ceratopetalum gummiferum 'Variegata'

Probably a synonym of 'Christmas Snow'.

Ceratopetalum gummiferum 'White Christmas'

Sepals white, not the usual red. Int. c. 1988.

Ceratopetalum gummiferum 'Wildfire'

Teardrop-shaped shrub. New growth and bracts deep red.

kingdom Plantae
phylum   Tracheophyta
class    Magnoliopsida
superorder     Rosanae
order      Oxalidales
family       Cunoniaceae
genus        Ceratopetalum Sm.