What is this tree?. I though it was a willow of some kind? but cant find a definitive answer.

It has dark cracked bark, long drooping willow like leaves. The stems are red. There is a red vein running through the leaves.

This image taken from google earth on dick burton road, cape town. There are a good number of these lining the road.

close up


6 Answers 6


Looks like a Eucalyptus to me. Perhaps Eucalyptus goniocalyx. Do the leaves have that eucalyptus smell (mentholy, medicinal smell)?

  • Look at that bark too, seems "yukey".
    – Lorel C.
    Commented Mar 11, 2018 at 20:33

After viewing the full-sized image of the leaves, I question my initial answer of Podocarpus, (Poducarpus leaves are hairless).

I now believe this to be a species of Callistemon. Try Callistemon linearifolius, Callistemon phoeniceus or Callistemon rigidus. It could be one of many species or related trees such as Melaleuca.

The telltale flowers of the Callistemon would be a dead giveaway. Any chance you've seen any flowers since your original post?

enter image description here

  • No flowers yet. But season is changing. Will keep a look out.
    – JonathanC
    Commented Aug 10, 2016 at 16:30

Callistemon viminalis, weeping bottlebrush.

The bark matches, and it is a commonly planted (invasive) tree in South Africa.

Moved to genus Melaleuca in 2012, but searching using Callistemon gives more results.

I will see if I can find a suitable picture.


Salix arbusculoides willow with red stems

  • I am not convinced. Samples, images all over the web dont resemble my images.
    – JonathanC
    Commented Jul 24, 2016 at 13:56
  • I placed some cuttings in water. It doesnt root at all like willow. All willow cuttings tend to sprout roots easily, but this tree doesnt.
    – JonathanC
    Commented Aug 10, 2016 at 22:32
  • Not liking Podocarpus either. Huh...hate to ask but please clearer pictures of an entire branch. Sure looks to me from this distance as a willow. One thing I just saw was the base of the trunk of your tree. Please pull back all those stones, soil until you find the top of the roots. Looks like your tree has been buried too deeply and even if it is a willow that bark will be compromised by the moisture, rock, soil, mulch on the bark allowing bacteria that will girdle the xylem and phloem just beneath the bark. Pull it back and take a picture, please. Any buds would be very helpful.
    – stormy
    Commented Aug 10, 2016 at 23:30

I’m suggesting a melaleuca from the Myrtle family...

Melaleuca leucadendra

From Wikipedia... “commonly known as weeping paperbark, long-leaved paperbark or white paperbark”.


It seems like an Agonis Flexuosa to me

  • 1
    Hi Lisa, welcome to the site. A little more information would be helpful. Such as a picture of your plant or why you think it is Agonis Flexuosa Commented Oct 17, 2023 at 5:00

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