Leptospermum grandifolium    

Woolly Tea-tree

In late spring, white splashes of Woolly Tea-tree flowers colour the swamp margins and stream banks around Wentworth Falls Lake. Clasping the spreading branches of this tall shrub, the 15mm wide solitary flowers unfold from woolly buds.

Five petals, underlain by densely hairy sepals, spread from the rim of stamens and a bright green ovary that matures to a 10mm wide, domed and flaky seed capsule. Many slender thread-like seeds are released from the five chambers of the mature woody capsule as its surface lifts and spreads.

New stems and foliage are silky hairy. The sharp- pointed, alternate leaves are large, up to 3cm long and 7mm wide. They are grey-green in colour with 3 to 5 parallel veins and a downy underside.

Family: Myrtaceae
 

Kids Activity Trail

•    Can you spot the tiny seedpod growing nearby the sculpture? 
•    Why do you think it is important not to pick the seed pods?
•     Did you know the white flowers of the Leptospermum provide nectar for moths, butterflies and other insects? The flaky bark of some species is used by birds for nests and ring tailed possums for dreys (nests).

Image Credit: ANNA BAIRD Leptospermum grandifolium (Woolly Tea-tree) 2000, carved sandstone, 63 x 112 x 112 cm, Wentworth Falls Lake Sculpture Project, Blue Mountains City Art Collection