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 Plant Profile – Callistemons ‘some of the best varieties’ 
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Post Plant Profile – Callistemons ‘some of the best varieties’
Plant Profile – Callistemons ‘some of the best varieties’

Callistemon belonging to the myrtle (Myrtaceae) family has around 30 species of ornamental evergreen shrubs and small trees. They are widely grown for their brightly coloured and abundant flower spikes. Bottlebrushes offer a colourful display over extended periods and will fit into most landscape situations.

Callistemons or Bottlebrush as they are commonly known are grown the world over for their brilliant flower display, hardiness, drought tolerance and bird-attraction. Most bottlebrushes prefer moist, well-drained, slightly acid soil in a sunny position. Regular trimming will keep the plants tidy, and encourage bushier growth and greater flower production in the next season. Callistemons will generally bloom in spring to early summer and sometimes again in autumn. The main flower colours are generally in shades of red, cream, or green, although many cultivars have extended this range even further with pink, mauve and purple selections.

A large number of bottlebrush cultivars have been developed and grown over the years, many of them hybrids with either Callistemon viminalis or Callistemon citrinus. Some are natural seedling selections from these species. Some of my personal favourites are listed below;
C. citrinus cultivars such as ‘White Anzac’ a white flowering form, ‘Splendens’ a red flowering form and ‘Mauve Mist’ a lavender or mauve flowering form.

There are also some beautiful pink flowering forms such as ‘Perth Pink’, ‘Reeves Pink’ and a new release named ‘Hot Pink’ which looks to be a stand out. This variety has been bred in South Africa and is a cross between Callistemon ‘Splendens’ and Callistemon pallidus. ‘Purple Cloud’ and ‘Purple Splendour’ are also two lovely purple flowered varieties all growing to approx 2-2.5m tall.

One of the most attractive attributes of some bottlebrushes is their weeping habit, and the fact that they don't grow too big. 'Macarthur' has a tidy, bushy growth habit while 'Slim' is perfect for tight planting areas. Have a look at C. Harkness (Gawler Hybrid Bottle brush) this can be grown as a beautiful flowering small tree or large shrub and C. viminalis cultivars such as 'Hannah Ray' and ‘Dawson River Weeper’ These weepers all have scarlet red flowers and beautiful shape and form. There are two very popular dwarf varieties that have been grown for many years they are Callistemon ‘Little John’ and ‘Captain Cook’ and their popularity keeps on going due to their versatility in both the garden and the landscape. If you like a small to medium sized street tree or garden tree C. viminalis and C. salignus can be used successfully in these positions. 'Better John' is a drought tolerant Callistemon and 'Scarlet Flame' is ultra compact with a fine leaf.

There is a wide range of Callistemons to choose from, ranging from small shrubs to small trees and it is not hard to find one or many that can make a feature or provide a purpose in any garden or landscape design.

For more info on the listed Callistemons follow the links below

White Anzac ... ottlebrush

Splendens ... uctID=1305

Slim ... /slim.html

Mauve Mist ... ant-id=104

Perth Pink

Reeves Pink ... eeves-pink

Macarthur ... rthur.html

Hot Pink ... t-pink-pbr

Purple Cloud ... s&uid=1159

Purple Splendour ... s&uid=1156

Scarlet Flame ... flame.html

Harkness ... rkness/561

Hannah Ray

Dawson River Weeper

Better John ... -john.html

Little John ... ener=10524

Captain Cook

Tue Sep 04, 2012
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