Archirhodomyrtus beckleri

Distribution Map
Family: Myrtaceae
Distribution: Rainforests from central-eastern New South Wales through to far north-east Queensland.
Common Name: Rose myrtle.
Derivation of Name: Archirhodomyrtus...from Greek archi, first, rhodo, a rose and the genus Myrtus, referring to the appearance of the flowers.
beckleri... After Dr. Herman Beckler, a botanist with the ill-fated Burke and Wills expedition.
Conservation Status: Not considered to be at risk in the wild

General Description:

Archirhodomyrtus is a small genus with a single species, A.beckleri, occurring in Australia. A.beckleri is a small tree or large shrub of upright growth habit and growing to 3 to 5 metres in its natural habitat (a bit smaller in cultivation). The leaves are dark, glossy green up to 75 mm long by about 20-25 mm wide. Like many species in the myrtle family they contain aromatic oils which are very noticeable when the leaves are crushed. The flowers are five-petalled, usually rosy pink in colour and about 10 mm in diameter. The flowers are followed by yellow to red fruits which are edible but not especially palatable.

Archirhodomyrtus beckleri
Archirhodomyrtus beckleri
Photo: Brian Walters

Rose myrtle is a very adaptable garden plant suited to temperate, sub-tropical and tropical gardens. It is reasonably frost resistant and tolerates a wide range of soils. It succeeds in semi shaded to full sun positions. It is available from many specialist native plant nurseries and deserves much wider cultivation. The species would make an excellent plant for a large container.

Propagation is probably best from cuttings which strike readily. Propagation from seed is also possible but germination may be slow and spasmodic. In common with many rainforest species, fresh seed gives the best results.


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