General Description:

There is ongoing controversy about whether Melaleuca or Callistemon should be used for the bottlebrush species – see footnote box. Some herbaria have now adopted the name Melaleuca pyramidalis for this species, however, this reclassification has not been adopted in the Australian Plant Census (which is accepted by ANPSA as the authority on Australian Plant nomenclature).

Callistemon pyramidalis is a medium sized, bushy shrub from about 2 – 3 metres high by 1.5-2 metres wide. Leaves are elliptical in shape about 30-75 mm long and 8-25 mm wide. The typical bottlebrush flowers are deep-red with yellow tipped stamens. Flowering occurs in spring.

Although of tropical origin, C.pyramidalis is a hardy and adaptable garden plant in sub-tropical and temperate climates. Like most callistemons, it prefers a sunny position in the garden and can tolerate less than perfect drainage but best performance will be obtained in gardens with reasonable drainage and regular availability of water. Callistemons respond to well to annual fertilising after flowering and are not as sensitive as some other Australian plants to phosphorus. Plants may be pruned severely if necessary.

Propagation is easy from both seed and cuttings.


* EPBC Act = Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999;
ROTAP = Rare or Threatened Australian Plants (Briggs and Leigh, 1988)
For further information refer the Australian Plants at Risk page

 

Callistemon or Melaleuca?
A paper by Lyn Craven of the Australian National Herbarium (Novon 16 468-475; December 2006 “New Combinations in Melaleuca for Australian Species of Callistemon (Myrtaceae)“) argues that the differences between the genera Callistemon and Melaleuca are insufficient to warrant them being retained separately and that they should be combined. As Melaleuca has precedence, adoption of Craven’s work would transfer all species of Callistemon into Melaleuca. Some state herbaria have adopted this change but, at this stage, the re-classification has not been taken up in the Australian Plant Census, which ANPSA recognises as the authority on plant nomenclature. For this reason we have retained Callistemon as a separate genus but the corresponding names under Melaleuca will also be mentioned where appropriate.

Craven’s re-classification has been adopted in a 2013 publication “Melaleucas: their botany, essential oils and uses” by Joseph J. Brophy, Lyndley A. Craven and John C. Doran.

 

Plant profile image

Callistemon pyramidalis
Photo: Brian Walters

 

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