Melaleuca lateritia

Distribution Map
Family: Myrtaceae
Distribution: Damp, shrubland in south Western Australia.
Common Name: Robin red breast
Derivation of Name: Melaleuca...from Greek melas; black and leukos; white, referring to black marks on the white trunks of some species due to fire
lateritia... from Latin, lateritius, dark or brick red, referring to the colour of the flowers.
Conservation Status: Not considered to be at risk in the wild.

General Description:

Melaleuca lateritia is one of the most widely cultivated members of the genus Melaleuca and is well established in general horticulture.

Melaleuca lateritia
Melaleuca lateritia
Photo: Unknown - Australian National Botanic Gardens

The species forms a small to medium shrub of upright growth habit to about 1.5 - 2 metres. The flowers occur in bottlebrush shaped spikes and are bright red to orange in colour. Flowering occurs in late spring through to mid summer.

The leaves are narrow, linear in shape and about 20mm long.

Although native to a dry summer climate M.lateritia is one of the more adaptable of the western species in the wetter summer conditions of Australia's east coast. It requires a well drained, sunny position. The species responds to annual fertilising after flowering and to an annual light pruning to encourage a bushy shape.

Propagation is easy from both seed and cuttings.

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