Calytrix consists of about 75 species, all endemic to Australia with the greatest concentration being in the south-west corner. Most are small to medium shrubs with star-like flowers ranging in colour from white through, yellow, pink and purple to red.
Calytrix drummondii) is a small shrub between 0.5 and 1.0 metres high. The leaves are small, linear to oblong and tapering to a fine point. The large, star-shaped flowers are 15 – 20 mm in diameter and are cream to yellow in colour. In common with most Calytrix species, a feature of the flowers is the “awns” or fine hairs which extend from the calyx lobes beyond the petals. Flowering occurs in late spring to summer.
Apart from C.tetragona (fringe myrtle), Calytrix has not received widespread cultivation. Limited experiences with C.drummondii have indicated that it is difficult to establish in the open ground but some success has been achieved in containers. Like other Western Australian species, cultivation of C.drummondii in humid climates is likely to be difficult.
Propagation of C.drummondii is best from cuttings as seed can be difficult to germinate. Experimentation into the use of grafting has been carried out with Calytrix species using the closely related genus Darwinia as root stock. Some success has been reported but it is not known whether grafting of C.drummondii has been attempted.
For further information on cultivation and propagation of Calytrix, see the article on growing Calytrix on the Geraldton Wax and Relatives page.
Photo: Geoff Clarke