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 for these plants, 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 “Western Glory” is believed to be a hybrid with Callistemon citrinus in its parentage. It originated in a Western Australian nursery in a batch of seedlings and was selected for further propagation because of its attractive features. It is a bushy shrub 2 – 3 m tall by a similar spread with lance shaped leaves to about 70 mm long. Bright red brushes to 120 mm long occur in mid to late spring. It is a hardy shrub which will withstand at least moderate frost and which flowers best in a sunny position.
Like most Callistemon cultivars, C.”Western Glory” produces viable seed which germinates easily. However, because of seedling variation, any plants produced from this seed will not be identical to the parent plant and cannot be called “Western Glory”. Plants produced from cuttings (which usually strike readily) will produce genetically identical plants to the parent.
Many callistemons can tolerate less than perfect drainage but usually perform best in gardens with reasonable drainage and regular availability of water. Callistemons respond well to annual fertilising after flowering and are not as sensitive as some other Australian plants to phosphorus.
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.
Callistemon ‘Western Glory’
Photo: Brian Walters