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CALLISTEMON citrinus

Image of Callistemon citrinus

James H. Schutte

Family

Myrtaceae

Botanical Name

CALLISTEMON citrinus

Plant Common Name

Crimson Bottlebrush

General Description

Named and grown for its fuzzy spikes of bright red flowers, crimson bottlebrush is a large, spreading, evergreen shrub or small tree native to eastern Australia. It has stiff, flat, narrow, lance-shaped, green leaves which are coppery colored when young and which emit a lemony aroma when crushed. The flowers appear in heaviest abundance in spring and summer, attracting hummingbirds. The fruits are cup-shaped, small and woody and release hundreds of tiny seeds. The bark is gray to grayish brown in color, often with lots of tiny fissures. The old fruit capsules remain on the twigs, revealing where last year's flowerspike once appeared.

Grow crimson bottlebrush in full sun in well-drained, neutral to acidic soil. Naturally it grows on streambanks, and thus can be also grown in soggy soils. It has a good tolerance for alkaline soils and seaside locales. It makes a colorful tall hedge or specimen shrub that can be pruned into a more rounded shape. It would also make a very handsome espalier on a bare foundation wall. Cultivars with different colored blossoms include 'Perth Pink', 'Mauve Mist', and 'Violaceus' while 'Splendens' is an improved red-flowering selection worthy to consider.

Characteristics

  • AHS Heat Zone

    12 - 1

  • USDA Hardiness Zone

    9 - 15

  • Sunset Zone

    H1, H2, 8, 9, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24

  • Plant Type

    Broadleaf Evergreen

  • Sun Exposure

    Full Sun, Partial Sun

  • Height

    10'-25' / 3.0m - 7.6m

  • Width

    6'-25' / 1.8m - 7.6m

  • Bloom Time

    Indeterminate

  • Native To

    Australia

Growing Conditions

  • Soil pH

    Acidic, Neutral

  • Soil Drainage

    Well Drained

  • Soil type

    Loam, Sand

  • Tolerances

    Wet Site, Pollution, Drought, Salt, Soil Compaction

  • Growth Rate

    Medium

  • Water Requirements

    Drought Tolerant

  • Habit

    Spreading

  • Seasonal Interest

    Spring, Summer, Fall, Winter

Ornamental Features

  • Flower Interest

    Showy

  • Flower Color

    Red

  • Fruit Color

    Sandy Brown

  • Foliage Color (Spring)

    Green, Sea Green, Rose, Bronze

  • Foliage Color (Summer)

    Green, Light Green

  • Foliage Color (Fall)

    Green, Light Green, Gray Green

  • Foliage Color (Winter)

    Green, Gray Green

  • Bark Color

    Sandy Brown, Gray

  • Fragrant Flowers

    No

  • Fragrant Fruit

    No

  • Fragrant Foliage

    Yes

  • Bark or Stem Fragrant

    No

  • Flower Petal Number

    Single

  • Repeat Bloomer

    Yes

  • Showy Fruit

    No

  • Edible Fruit

    No

  • Showy Foliage

    No

  • Foliage Texture

    Fine

  • Foliage Sheen

    Matte

  • Evergreen

    Yes

  • Showy Bark

    No

Special Characteristics

  • Bark Texture

    Fissured

  • Usage

    Container, Feature Plant, Hedges, Mixed Border, Screening / Wind Break, Topiary / Bonsai / Espalier, Tropical

  • Sharp or Has Thorns

    No

  • Invasive

    No

  • Attracts

    Hummingbirds

  • Self-Sowing

    No