Callistemon citrinus    

Crimson Bottlebrush

The crimson red ‘bottlebrushes’ of Callistemon citrinus create floral spectaculars along stream banks and swamp edges from spring to summer. Each 12 cm long ‘bottlebrush’ displayed on the ends of stiff upright branches, is a spike of hundreds of flowers, each with 5 tiny petals and long brilliant red stamens.

The nectar-rich flowers are sought by pollinating honeyeaters. Clusters of woody cup- shaped 4-7mm wide capsules persist on the branches, protecting the numerous seeds for years.

Sunlight shining through the waxy, 3-7cm long lance-shaped leaves, reveals an abundance of oil dots which release the citrus fragrance for which this Callistemon is named. Pink, softly-hairy new growth continues to attract the eye to this 2-3m high shrub well after flowering.

Family: Myrtaceae
 

Kids Activity Trail

  • Do you know why the callistemon has the common name bottle brush? Can you spot any honey eater birds feasting on the nectar rich flowers?
  • Some Callistemon have flaky bark used for nest building

Image Credit: MICHAEL BYRT Callistemon citrinus (Crimson Bottle Brush) 2000, carved sandstone, 75 x 160 x 160 cm, Wentworth Falls Lake Sculpture Project, Blue Mountains City Art Collection