Newspaper article The Morning Bulletin (Rockhampton, Australia)

Bottlebrushes in Full Bloom; Plant Now Belongs to Melaleuca Family, but Formerly Callistemon

Newspaper article The Morning Bulletin (Rockhampton, Australia)

Bottlebrushes in Full Bloom; Plant Now Belongs to Melaleuca Family, but Formerly Callistemon

Article excerpt

ABOUT NEIL

Weekend Buzz columnist Neil Fisher is from Fisher's Nursery, North Rockhampton.

You can chat with Neil on radio 4RO's gardening hour after the 6am news on Tuesdays.

THE last time I featured a number of spectacular flowering trees that are creating floral features across our region. But there is another plant species that is also looking blooming great at the moment.

That is the Bottlebrush, which would be one of the most adaptable shrubs available to Central Queensland gardeners. The Bottlebrush a or Melaleuca as they are now called a was formerly known as Callistemon.

In 2007 the bright sparks down south decided that all Callistemon would be reclassified as Melaleucas. So in the future it might become a little confusing when shopping in nurseries as a Bottlebrush might be labelled as either a Callistemon or Melaleuca.

The proof that the Bottlebrush is an exceptional performer comes from feedback from many western gardeners who state that their bottlebrushes are still alive after being submerged in floodwater or when the rest of the garden is nothing more than a dried arrangement.

Did you know that the name Callistemon means beautiful thread, referring to the flowers and that there are 34 species of Callistemon currently recognised and all but four are native to Australia?

I have received many queries over the years asking whether bottlebrushes came in colours other than red. The answer is yes! Bottlebrush flowers range in colour from green to purple, white to pink even an orange with the most common shade being red.

The bottlebrushes with the best floral displays I have seen this year are:

Callistemon Eureka makes an impressive display during spring when masses of purplish pink brushes appear. It is an upright tall screening shrub 4a5m high with striking maroon new growth and dark green leaves. …

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