Common Name: Red bottlebrush, weeping bottlebrush, drooping bottlebrush and creek bottlebrush.
Etymology: Callistemon: From Greek word ‘kallos’ meaning beauty and ‘stemon’ meaning thread or stamen. viminalis: from Latin, ‘vimen’ meaning a long flexible shoot.
Origin: Northern New South Wales through Queensland. There are also disjunctive populations in the far north and south-west of Western Australia.
Description: An evergreen large shrub or tree to around 20m with numerous trunks becoming spirally twisted in older trees and a weeping habit.
Foliage: Light green, narrow elliptic to linear, narrow, stiff, 4-8cm long by 3-6mm wide.
Bark/Trunk: The grey stem is erect with rough, fibrous, vertically furrowed, scaly bark. It has many branches with a weeping habit.
Flowers: Bright red with 5 small petals and numerous protruding stamens 15-25mm long arranged on and around terminals of branches appearing profusely from spring to summer. The petals are 3-6mm long and fall off as the flower ages.
Fruit: Hard, woody, cup-shaped capsules 5-6mm in diameter holding onto seeds in 3 separate valves for a few seasons.
Growth Requirements: Prefers light to medium soils in an open sunny position. Will tolerate both wet and dry soils.
Uses: Australian native gardens, bird, bee attracting, areas prone to flooding or wet soils, screening tree, erosion control and street tree.
Propagation: From seed (most recent capsules are best avoided) ensuring seed does not dry out. Pot can be placed in saucer of water to ensure this does not happen. Cuttings from semi-mature wood.
- Australian Trees by Leonard Cronin.