GARDENING: Bottlebrushes will deliver the goods this Spring
No matter where you are in Central Queensland, bottlebrushes are massed in flowers.
This season’s flowering has been more vivid and prolific even though conditions have been so tough.
The bottlebrush has proved to be an exceptional performer - feedback from many western gardeners is that they are still alive when the rest of the garden is nothing more than a dried arrangement.
Did you know that the name Callistemon means beautiful thread referring to the flowers?
And that there are 34 species of Callistemon currently recognised and all but four are native to Australia?
The flowers range in colour from green to purple, white to pink, with the most common shade being red.
But what you may not know is that many of the bottlebrushes sold across Australia or around the world can be found growing naturally here in Central Queensland. The following are some of our region’s bottlebrush beauties.
Bajool: Callistemon viminalis Bob’s Creek is a tall form of the Weeping Bottlebrush, growing to 10m with up to 15cm long red flowers. It occurs naturally in a number of waterways south of Rockhampton.
Blackdown Tableland: Callistemon pearsonii or the Blackdown Bottlebrush is a bushy shrub growing up to 2m high with small leaves with bronze coloured new foliage. Contrasting well with the red flowers tipped with yellow and are arranged in short spikes on the ends of branches. This is a frost and drought hardy shrub that is suitable for most soil types.
Bondoola: Callistemon polandii Mount Wheeler is a uniquely native bottlebrush to Mount Wheeler on the Capricorn Coast, growing to approximately 2m high and 2m across, making an ideal screen plant with the ability to be pruned and shaped throughout the year.
Boulia: Callistemon viminalis sp Boulia or Boulia Bottlebrush is one of the only Bottlebrushes naturally found in a semi-arid region. It has a very attractive appearance and 7cm long bright red brushes.
This is one of Central Queensland’s most unique native plants.
The Boulia Bottlebrush is a Weeping Bottlebrush that could grow up to 6m with a thick trunk. Large bright red Bottlebrush flowers occur from late spring. The Boulia Bottlebrush is Australia’s most inland growing Bottlebrush.
Byfield: Callistemon polandii var. Byfield has pink brushes, with gold tips, several times a year. It is a beautiful bushy shrub with fairly broad pointed leaves and rich bronze/pink new growth. It grows 2-3m high.
Cania Corge: Callistemon viminalis Spring Creek is a showy Bottlebrush with cascading lime green foliage. Growing up to 6m high and 4m wide it is perfect as a specimen or street tree fast-growing tree. Lovely crimson bottlebrush flowers appear in spring and summer, although it is known to spot flower throughout the year, attracting nectar loving birds.
Dysart: Callistemon sp Peak Downs is a very bushy shrub to 2m high with dark green leaves and pale pink new growth. Masses of small bright red brushed tipped with gold appear during spring and autumn. This plant is suitable for most conditions and is very bird attractive.
Injune: Callistemon Injune is a semi-weeping shrub with silvery-grey foliage and profusion’s of pink flowers that fade to white. This bottlebrush will grow to around 3m high and will tolerate quite dry conditions.
Monto: Callistemon viminalis Monto or the Monto Weeping Bottlebrush is one of the tallest Bottlebrushes available to gardeners. Large clusters of 30cm long red flowers occur from spring to autumn. This Bottlebrush makes an excellent street tree and would provide mass colour and shade.
Moura: Callistemon viminalis Dawson River is a medium to tall shrub with narrow foliage and an extreme weeping habit. Clusters of red flowers will appear in spring and autumn that are very bird-attractive. It is best to prune this Bottlebrush after flowering. Dawson River will grow well in most garden positions across Central Queensland.