The principle characteristic of the plants in this genus of shrubs to small trees, is captured in its common name – Bottlebrush. You could not have a more apt description of the flowers. They are endemic to Australia and most of them exist in the east coast temperate regions. This does mean that most of they do like some moisture, although they can tolerate period of dryness once established. They are also tolerate salt.
The principle flowering times are either spring or autumn, but some may bloom at other times. The dominant flower color is red, although white (Callistemon salignus) and yellow (Callistemon citrinus) blooms also exist.
Hardy down to zone 8b, they prefer a well-drained acid soil in full sun. They can be pruned after flowering, just below the flower head.
As with many plant genera these days, the botanists want to upset the apple cart. They are trying to put most, if not all the Callistemon into the Melaleuca genus.
Callistemon in the collection
C. pallidus ‘Eleanor’,
C. rigidus (from seed),
C. subulatus ‘Dark Red’,
C. Violaceus – Violet Bottlebrush (from seed),
C. ‘Woodlander’s Hardy Red’.
Cuttings – Callistemon pityoides, the alpine bottlebrush 10/5 from the Hoffman Wonder Garden.
Name Derivation: Comes from the 2 Greek words 'callis' meaning beauty and 'stemon' meaning stamen. This refers to the flowers of the plant.
Common Name: Bottlebrush
Callistemon is in the family Myrtaceae.