Callistemon

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Callistemon
Red bottlebrush flower
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Plantae
(unranked): Angiosperms
(unranked): Eudicots
(unranked): Rosids
Order: Myrtales
Family: Myrtaceae
Subfamily: Myrtoideae
Tribe: Melaleuceae
Genus: Callistemon
R.Br.[1]
Species

See text

Callistemon /ˌkælɨˈstiːmən/[2] is a genus of 34 species of shrubs in the family Myrtaceae, all of which are endemic to Australia. It is sometimes considered a synonym of Melaleuca,[1] and four Callistemon species from New Caledonia were moved to that genus by Lyndley Craven and John Dawson in 1998. Callistemon species are commonly referred to as bottlebrushes because of their cylindrical, brush like flowers resembling a traditional bottle brush. They are found in the more temperate regions of Australia, mostly along the east coast and south-west, and typically favour moist conditions so when planted in gardens thrive on regular watering. However, at least some of the species are drought-resistant. Several species are used in ornamental landscaping elsewhere in the world.

Bottlebrush seed capsules

Callistemons can be propagated either by cuttings (some species more easily than others), or from the seeds. Flowering is normally in spring and early summer (October–December), but conditions may cause flowering at other times of the year. The obvious parts of the flower masses are stamens, with the pollen at the tip of the filament; the petals are inconspicuous (see picture). Flower heads vary in colour with species; most are red, but some are yellow, green, orange or white. Each flower head produces a profusion of triple-celled seed capsules around a stem (see picture) which remain on the plant with the seeds enclosed until stimulated to open when the plant dies or fire causes the release of the seeds. A few species release the seeds annually.

They are relatively slow growing though in time the larger species can grow up to 15 m (49 ft). Some are ground-hugging, and grow to only 0.5 m (1.6 ft). The leaves are linear to lanceolate and they are not deciduous.

They have been grown in Europe since a specimen of C. citrinus was introduced to Kew Gardens in London by Joseph Banks in 1789.

In Australia, Callistemon species are sometimes used as food plants by the larvae of hepialid moths of the genus Aenetus including A. ligniveren. These burrow horizontally into the trunk then vertically down.

In India, bottlebrush plants/trees are grown in gardens. Their leaves have a lovely fragrance which gets released on crushing the leaves with hands.

Species[edit]

Callistemon viminalis

Formerly placed here[edit]

Gallery[edit]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b "Genus: Callistemon R. Br.". Germplasm Resources Information Network. United States Department of Agriculture. 2009-01-27. Retrieved 2010-04-21. 
  2. ^ Sunset Western Garden Book, 1995:606–607
  3. ^ "Callistemon brevisepalus". Australian Plant Name Index (APNI), IBIS database. Centre for Plant Biodiversity Research, Australian Government. 
  4. ^ "Callistemon buseanus". Australian Plant Name Index (APNI), IBIS database. Centre for Plant Biodiversity Research, Australian Government. 
  5. ^ "Callistemon suberosus". Australian Plant Name Index (APNI), IBIS database. Centre for Plant Biodiversity Research, Australian Government. 
  6. ^ "Callistemon pancheri". Australian Plant Name Index (APNI), IBIS database. Centre for Plant Biodiversity Research, Australian Government. 
  7. ^ "Callistemon gnidioides". Australian Plant Name Index (APNI), IBIS database. Centre for Plant Biodiversity Research, Australian Government. 

External links[edit]