Terminalia muelleri (Australian almond) is an ideal choice for those seeking a full sun tree with moderate water needs that attracts butterflies, hummingbirds, and other wildlife. Growing to a maximum of around 30 feet tall, it is perfect for areas requiring a small tree, such as a street tree, small residential lot, or providing shade on a patio.
This Australian native tree is easy to care for and thrives in USDA Zones 9-11. It prefers a full-sun location, tolerates some wind, and should be sheltered from frost. It can grow in various soil types, including alkaline, acid, and salt, provided the soil is well-drained. If grown in a pot in a colder area, a soil-less potting medium is recommended, and it should be kept in a protected area from the wind.
Though the small white or off-white flowers are not particularly showy, they serve as an essential food source for butterflies and hummingbirds. The bright red foliage during winter adds visual interest, while the dark blue, small fruits that follow the flowers can be enjoyed by birds and other wildlife.
The tree features a symmetrical, horizontally-layered silhouette with an arrow-straight trunk. Its leathery, four-inch-long leaves turn an attractive red in autumn and winter before dropping. In spring, spikes of tiny greenish-white blossoms appear, followed by dark blue, small fruits. This versatile tree is well-suited for street tree planting or as a specimen tree for small residential lots, providing shade for patios or decks.