Tag: Western Australian Plants

Plant of the Month – Kunzea affinis

Last week I featured the Kunzea capitata, this week I am featuring the Kunzea affinis.

Genus: Kunzea
Species: affinis
Common Name:
Flower Colour: Pink
Foliage Colour: Green
Growth Habit: Shrub to 1.5m
Flowering: Spring

The Kunzea affinis is a small shrub which grows to roughly 1.5m in height. It usually grows with an upright nature but can be trained to grow more bushy if you desire. Gently cut the growing tips while it is growing to encourage this Kunzea to become more bushy.

The Kunzea affinis is native to the south of Western Australia and as such prefers a temperate to cool climate. It will grow well in a sunny to part shade position in a well draining soil. Is very hardly to a harsh summer sun and can also withstand mild frosts in the winter.

Very good plant to mix in group plantings with Leptospermum or Melaleuca plants.

Plant of the Month – Kunzea baxteri

Welcome to the Plant of the Month series for October. This month I will be featuring a little known Australian native called the Kunzea. I say little known because not many people have heard of them, however they are actually quite common and many varieties look quite similar to a bottle brush. This weeks variety is the Kunzea baxteri.

Photo: Brian Walters

Genus: Kunzea
Species: baxteri
Common Name: Scarlet Kunzea
Flower Colour: Red
Foliage Colour: Green
Growth Habit: Shrub to 2m
Flowering: Winter to Spring

The Kunzea baxteri is best suited to temperate and cool climates around Australia which experience a wet winter and a hot, dry summer. The Scarlet Baxteri is actually quite similar to the Scarlet Bottlebrush, though the red colour in the flower is much deeper with the baxteri.

The Kunzea baxteri grows in an erect nature and flowers in Winter to Spring. It generally tends to grow to about 2m in height although the baxteri can grow taller. The leaves also tend to be smaller than that which are found on plants in the Bottlebrush (Callistemon) species of Australian natives.

This is a very hardy variety that is native to southeast of Western Australia which would be a great addition to your garden.

Thanks to Lullfitz for some of this information.

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.

Plant of the Month – Callistemon glaucus

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

Genus: Callistemon
Species: glaucus
Common Name: Albany Bottlebrush
Flower Colour: Red
Foliage Colour: Green
Growth Habit: Shrub to 2m
Flowering: Spring to Summer

This variety of Callistemon is a great choice for a hedge or screen. It grows best in cool or temperate conditions, being native to the South West of Western Australia. Very hardy, will handle most soil conditions and likes to have full sun.

This is a great bird attracting Bottlebrush that is really quite easy to manage. Like most other Bottlebrush varieties, trim to desired shape and size after the flowering season. I have seen this variety grow and fill out quite quickly which means if you are trying to grow a hedge, this is definitely a good starting point. A great choice for anywhere along the South of Australia and it really does do particularly well in its native South West of Western Australia (between Perth and Albany).

Plant of the Month – Callistemon citrinus

Last week I featured the Callistemon braccyandrus, this week I am featuring the Callistemon citrinus.

Photo: Edward Russell

Genus: Callistemon
Species: citrinus
Common Name: Crimson Bottlebrush
Flower Colour: Red
Foliage Colour: Green
Growth Habit: Small Tree to 3m
Flowering: Spring to Autumn

The Crimson Bottlebrush could well be called the King of the Bottlebrush family. It is by far and away the most common and the most popular Bottlebrush and has been exported to many countries around the world. One of the most prized aspects of this species is in its best years it will flower twice, once generally in Spring and then again generally in Autumn. If the flowers are late then it may only flower once and this may even be in Summer.

The citrinus prefers soil with good drainage and a full sun position. Applying fertiliser all year round will provide you with the best chance of getting two flowering seasons and the citrinus isn’t as susceptible to fertilisers with a high phosphorous amount like many other Australian natives. This species is found naturally occuring throughout the East Coast of Australia but will generally do well in most cold and temperate climates. Even the tropics of Australia have seen success with this variety of Bottlebrush.

The best time of year to prune the citrinus is after the Spring flowering. Only prune after the autumn flowering in climates that do not experience too much frost. Prune off the spent flowers to encourage growth and hopefully a second flowering season!


Plant of the Month – Callistemon braccyandrus

So far this month I have reviewed a number of Australian plant varieties that resemble the common Bottlebrush or that have the name ‘Bottlebrush’ as part of their common name. As such I thought it was about time that I reviewed the actual genus that is generally considered to be the actual Bottlebrush, which is called Callistemon. Here is the first featured species of Callistemon, the braccyandrus

Genus: Callistemon
Species: braccyandrus
Common Name: Prickly Bottlebrush
Flower Colour: Red
Foliage Colour: Green
Growth Habit: Small tree to 3m
Flowering: Summer to Autumn

Though most varieties of Callistemon have red flowers, the braccyandrus has something that sets it apart and that is the yellow anthers that poke out through the red flower. It has been said that this makes it look like it is covered in gold and I like that idea.

This variety has much sharper and pointier leaves than other varieties of Callistemon.. Though in the wild the distribution of the braccyandrus is limited in small pockets of the East Coast of Australia, it has proven to be a very hardy and adaptable variety which will grow equally well in wet or dry soils. Full sun is definitely a priority however.

After flowering the braccyandrus will thrive if given a good, healthy prune. Keep it trimmed to the size that you desire for the place you want it to grow. This makes the braccyandrus a good choice for any location that you want a small tree to grow in your garden.

Plant of the Month – Beaufortia sparsa

Last week I featured the Beaufortia purpurea, this week I am featuring the Beaufortia sparsa.

Genus: Beaufortia
Species: sparsa
Common Name: Southwest bottlebrush
Flower Colour: Red
Foliage Colour: Green
Growth Habit: Shrub 1m
Flowering: Autumn

I haven’t actually grown or seen the sparsa in person but the photo’s I have seen make it look really interesting and definitely is a plant that I’d like to try my hand at growing sometime.

It is not a typical Bottlebrush (which are mostly found in the Callistemon genus) but I can see how its common name includes ‘bottlebrush’ as the flowers do have a distinct similarity with many common bottlebrushes.

This variety grows best in full sun and is very much a bird and wildlife attracting plant. Once it is well established you can trim this plant into the shape and size that you desire.Flowers throughout Autumn and is native to the South West of Western Australia though I have read that it grows well in most of Southern Australia.

Thanks to Lullfitz for much of this information. To read about a fifth variety of Beaufortia sign up to my newsletter. Each month my newsletter subscribers get a ‘members only’ review of a fifth species of my plant of the month. To sign up to my newsletter simply fill in the form above, click on ‘sign up’ and follow the instructions.