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 longiflora is a medium shrub to about 2.5 metres high and 1.5 metres wide. The leaves are linear or oblong with finely toothed margins. The large, star-shaped flowers are about 20 mm in diameter and are deep pink to purple 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 spring to early summer.
Apart from C.tetragona (fringe myrtle), Calytrix has not received widespread cultivation. Limited experiences with C.longiflora have indicated that it is adaptable to well drained soils in sun or semi-shade.
Propagation of C.longiflora 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.longiflora 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