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Aussie Green Thumb – Top Gardening Tips For Everyday People

Plant of the Month – Callistemon phoeniceus

Last week I featured the Callistemon glaucus, this week I am featuring the Callistemon phoeniceus.

Photo: Rob Young

Genus: Callistemon
Species: phoeniceus
Common Name: Scarlett Bottlebrush
Flower Colour: Red
Foliage Colour: Grey-Green
Growth Habit: Shrub to 2m
Flowering: Spring to Summer

Though the flower colour is ‘said’ to be red I can’t help but notice a pinkish tinge to some of the flower of Callistemon phoeniceus, though this I believe is mostly when the flower is dying. Generally speaking this variety has a very bright red flower. This is the second of two varieties native to Western Australian, the other being last weeks feature Callistemon glaucus.

This variety has a small shrub growth habit and is a fairly hardy variety. As it is native to the South West of Western Australia it grows best in cold to temperate regions across the South of Australia. The phoeniceus requires a moist soil but still needs good drainage. When conditions are right it grows very vigorously with a lot of growth to be expected each flowering season. As such, if you want to keep this under control you will definitely need to prune it at the end of the summer flowering season. I am told that this variety is definitely one of the easiest varieties to grow and its strong red colour really does make it a good choice because it truly looks like a Bottlebrush.

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