Callistemon phoeniceus

19 Nov

Callistemon phoeniceus (18/10/2014, Real Jardín Botánico de Madrid)

Callistemon phoeniceus (18/10/2014, Real Jardín Botánico de Madrid)

Position: Full sun

Soil: Moist, well drained

Flowering period: Summer

Eventual Height: 3m

Eventual Spread: 3m

Hardiness: 8b, 9a, 9b, 10a, 10b

Family: Myrtaceae

Callistemon phoeniceus is an evergreen shrub or tree with an open habit. Its grey/ green leaves are linear to lance-shaped, up to 12cm long and 1cm broad. It flowers are bottle brush like spikes, up to 15cm long, composed of hermaphrodite flowers with enlarged scarlet red stamens arranged radially around the tips of the flowering stems. These are followed by dark grey, tightly spaced small fruit.

Callistemon phoeniceus Leaf (18/10/2014, Real Jardín Botánico de Madrid)

Callistemon phoeniceus Leaf (18/10/2014, Real Jardín Botánico de Madrid)

Callistemon phoeniceus,  commonly known as the Lesser Bottlebrush, Fiery Bottlebrush or Scarlet Bottlebrush, is native to south west Australia. In its native habitat it grows on sandy soils near water bodies which are prone to flooding.

The etymological root of the binomial name  Callistemon is derived from the ancient Greek Kalli meaning ‘beautiful’ and stamen the pollen producing part of a flower. Phoeniceus is derived from the Greek foinikos meaning red’.

The landscape architect may find Callistemon phoeniceus useful as an attractive evergreen flowering shrub. A warm sheltered location will ensure this plant flowers prolifically.

Callistemon phoeniceus Seed (18/10/2014, Real Jardín Botánico de Madrid)

Callistemon phoeniceus Seed (18/10/2014, Real Jardín Botánico de Madrid)

Ecologically,  Callistemon phoeniceus flowers are attractive to butterflies and hummingbirds.

Callistemon phoeniceus prefers moist, fertile, well-drained soils. It tolerates most  pH of soil.

Callistemon phoeniceus requires little maintenance, dead or damaged material may be removed after flowering.

Davis Landscape Architecture

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