Celebrating callistemons in every colour of the rainbow
Across Central Queensland we have some fantastic garden walks.
I had to make a quick trip to Mackay this week for a meeting. After completing the meeting I decided to visit the Mackay Botanic Gardens and walk the gardens walking circuit.
What caught my eye on the walk was the number of Bottlebrushes in full bloom.
I am often asked whether Bottlebrushes or Callistemons came in colours other than red. Walking the Mackay Botanic Gardens walking circuit easily answers that question.
The answer is - yes, Callistemons do come in different colours.
Did you know that the name Callistemon means ‘beautiful thread’ referring to the flowers and that there 34 species of Callistemon currently recognised and all but four are native to Australia.
So in these gardens are there are Bottlebrushes flowering in colour shades of creams, greens, lemons, mauves, pinks and white.
The following are just some of the Bottlebrushes that were in bloom:
Callistemon Berundah Station, a medium shrub with dense grey/green weeping foliage and attractive pale pink brushes occurring in spring and autumn. It grows three by two metres in a sunny moist position and attracts honeyeaters.
Callistemon Demesne Prestige Pink is a tidy rounded shrub growing two by 2.5 metres. Its flowers are bright lolly pink when first opened and fade to soft pink, mainly flowering in spring, although flowers do occur throughout the year.
Callistemon Injune is a semi-weeping shrub with silvery-grey foliage and profusions of pink flowers that fade to white. This bottlebrush will grow to around three metres high and will tolerate quite dry conditions.
Callistemon Mauve Mist is an open shrub growing to two metres, with striking mauve flowers in spring and autumn. Prune after flowering to develop a denser shape. This plant is more suitable for western gardens and prefers a sunny position.
Callistemon Pachyphyllus Green is a low spreading shrub one by 1.5 metres high with narrow light green leaves. Lime green brushes appear during spring and autumn. It requires a sunny position and should be pruned after flowering. It will also attract honeyeaters.
Callistemon Pink Alma is a dense rounded shrub growing to two by two metres, with clear pink flowers during the cooler months of the year. It is very hardy and prefers a sunny position. Prune after flowering to develop shape.
Callistemon Reeves Pink is a dense rounded shrub growing to 2.5 metres high with bird attracting pale pink flowers. It was one of the first Bottlebrush cultivars to be sold in nurseries. Reeves Pink is very adaptable to different soil types and is drought hardy.
Callistemon salignus or Willow Bottlebrush is a medium to tall very dense shrub three-and-a-half by two metres high with bright green leaves and pink new tips. It requires a sunny moist position and bears clusters of white bottlebrushes which cover the plant in spring. It also attracts honeyeaters.
Callistemon Tangerine Dream is an upright-growing shrub growing to two metres high with apple green dense foliage and gold-tipped, tangerine bottlebrushes, which occur in flushes several times a year.
Callistemon Wilderness White is a unique, white flowering form of the weeping bottlebrush, growing to four metres high, making an excellent backdrop plant or attractive footpath specimen.
What you may not know is that the scientific name for Bottlebrush is now Melaleuca. A few years ago the bright sparks down south decided that all Callistemon would be reclassified as Melaleucas. But most gardeners will always know the Bottlebrush as Callistemon. 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. So always ask your nursery person for advice, as they are only too happy to oblige.