Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Bottle Brushes


All of the Callistemon family
are Bottlebrushes

and so are some of the Melalucas,
the paperbarks,
we have seen before
this one on the way
to the Mangroves...

But today
we are going to walk through
the Callistemons

The name comes from the Greek
callos = beautiful
stemon = stamen

All of the Bottlebrushes
have fragrant leaves
dotted with oil glands

The flowers are stalkless
with conspicuous
highly coloured stamens

The flowers and the fruit
are much loved by the birds
and for that reason
and their colour
as well as their hardiness
and adaptability,
many are planted
in neighbourhood gardens

The woody seed cases
contain many minute
fine seeds

which are only released
when the plant dies
or if the seed pod is removed

One year I cut
many Callistemon branches
to make Christmas wreathes
and noticed
that after a few days
the seeds began
to drop out of the pods

They often flower
twice a year

There are over 25 species
of Callistemon
endemic to Australia

They grow quickly
and under varied conditions

'Beautiful stamens'



  1. How interesting and beautiful. I'm not familiar Bottlebrushes at all, it's always nice to learn something new!
    Sunny :)

  2. They do have the perfect name...even the dried seed heads on the branch have their own special look...your photo of the red and creamy white is very festive...the touch of green at the tip makes it even more so.

    Enjoy your daughter!

  3. Hi Sunny

    Isn't that one of the best things about blogging - we can learn new things from all around the world...

    Happy days Sunny

  4. Hello Wanda

    They have become a very idiosyncratic Australian shrub, although New Zealand has its own bottlebrush called the Pohutakawa.

    The red and cream photo is a lovely contrasting shot but I cannot claim it - the final few shots I borrowed.

    Happy days in the outdoors

  5. Beautiful indeed. The seed pods could also make a dramatic display in an over-sized container.

    Love the green tips on the stamens. They almost look like fibre optic lights!

    Thanks Delwyn.

  6. delwyn, each time you post about the beautiful, wildly varied plants that grow in your little patch of australia i think to myself that you are so fortunate and then i think - "well she knows that and that's why she prepares these gorgeous postings - to share her fortune". these delicate callistemons are so amazing. i'm sure there are gardeners out there who can tell me there's something similar here but i've never seen it!! thanks for sharing your wealth delwyn. have a lovely evening by the river. steven

  7. Good morning to you Steven

    Thank you - this is a very generous comment and receiving remarks such as this make me want to continue to observe and share my blessings with you all.

    I am putting some thought into a 'transformative moment' - it has been a thought provoking task...

    Happy days

  8. Hi Bonnie

    that's a good idea for a floral display. I might have to go to the park armed with my secateurs...I have two vases of dried proteas -flowers I posted about, that still bring me joy. Now callistemons would be good too...

    Happy days

  9. We don't have anything like this is in DC, but we did in San Francisco. We even called them bottle brush trees. Very cool.

    Harold and Maude DO have their own private spa, don't they? They are very handsome!

  10. OMG these trees bring back so many memories. We used to have a bush outside our house in San Diego, and when we later moved there were several in our apartment's yard too. I've never seen the beautiful yellowish ones though!

  11. In how many of your past lives have you been a teacher? You simply can't help sharing your gift.

  12. Very lovely write up and photos! Always enjoy visiting.

  13. Hi Delwyn,

    Wow, your pictures are stunning! What a treat to see something so unique. Now I wonder if any Bottlebrush trees can be found in the nurseries up here in B.C., Canada. I will have to find out!
    I LOVE the bouquet with the red & white ones, & the tree is just undbelievable! Isn't nature grand?

    Thanks so much for visiting my blog! I'm happy to have found you, and look forward to following your blog!
    Have a miracle day!

  14. Yes, as others have noted, the Bottle Brushes have made it eastward across the Pacific to California. They didn't even change their name! We enjoy them here, too.

  15. Delwyn, these are spectacular and I never knew they existed. They look so real I thought they were actual brushes for a brief second. Thanks for your kind words on my blog and thank you for this moment of beauty today.

  16. Bottlebrushes...new to me, an avid gardener in British Colubia. I don't think this is a rain forest ready plant. There must be a reason for the way it grows without a stalk. Never mind, I will just enjoy them.

  17. Those bottlebrushes are beautiful, I haven't seen them before, seems we are never done learning.

  18. We can only get one sort of bottlebrush shrub here, but even that won't grow in my garden; they need acid (ericaceous) soil. As for those miracles you are showing, well we can only dream.

  19. Hello Reya

    They are the same shrubs evidently - according to Dan and Tulsa...Joseph Banks, botanist on Captain Cook's ship Endeavour, took them back to the UK with him in the late 1700s.

    Yes Maude and Harold are quite a fixture now...

    Happy days

  20. Tulsa,

    How are you after the typhoon. Daughter got out of Tokyo Ok and is safely home but had major turbulence over the Philippines.

    Funny how plants can transport you to another time and place.

    Happy days

  21. Hi Meri

    a good question..

    I have been a number of times in the more recent past ...and I guess the tendency is inbuilt...

    Happy days

  22. Hi there Lorac

    It is nice to catch up with you again.

    thanks for dropping in today...

    Happy days

  23. Hello Lisa

    It is nice to have you visit and welcome to the chatty part of the post...

    The bottlebrushes seem to have been taken world wide.

    I look forward to further sharing and chats

    Happy days

  24. Hi Dan

    they are very versatile and hardy plants - I am glad that you get to enjoy them too...The birds love them...

    Happy days

  25. Hello Vicky

    It is lovely to see you again...

    I am so enjoying showing people these flowers who have never seen them before.

    I enjoy visiting and will see you soon...

    Happy days

  26. Hello LoriE

    another newcomer to bottlebrushes...

    I wonder if you can grow them. I am sure they grow in the colder parts of Australia. It would be interesting to know...

    Happy days

  27. Hello Ann

    you have never seen them either? well this was a good post for those who like unusual flowers...

    Happy days

  28. Hi Friko

    Yes where I am it is sand with a thin layer of poor top soil over the top when the area was developed for housing. The natural ground is sandy mangrove swamp.

    Happy days

  29. These are so beautiful. We have the red ones here but I have never seen the pink and white ones. My father bought one when I was a kid and I didn't like it much. Now though, I see trees in full bloom and they are wonderful. I really like them and want to get one for the country house.

  30. I've never seen a bottlebrush plant. They're beautiful!

  31. Hello Delwyn!
    Wow! Love the creative brushes here. So many colours to choose.

    You love potato. Me too:)
    Making some great soup, potato can't be missed out!

    So many visitors coming to your house. The birds are dropping by regurlarly to keep you company!

    Happy days and happy weekends in advance!

  32. I have a big bottlebrush tree on the front lawn, recently I got a letter from the local council asking me to trim it as it was overgrown and blocking the footpath. They are a very bright happy tree, I like them a lot.

  33. Hello Ellen

    Welcome to the land of Bottlebrushes...

    It is funny how our ideas of beauty change. When we first moved to Australia I pined for the English looking gardens of New Zealand and thought the Au bush and native plants were dry and scrappy looking, now I see them so differently.
    I hope you find some there.

    Happy days

  34. Hello Janie

    well know you know what the bottlebrush shrub is like...

    thanks for dropping in...

    Happy days

  35. Hello Yoon see
    - lover of potato soup...

    that's right Yoon see, : 'birds of a feather flock together...'

    Happy days

  36. Hi Alden

    Along with the grevillea bottlebrushes are very common urban garden plants, they seem to thrive on neglect, and always look colourful here...

    Happy days

  37. Lovely - I think I have seen these Bottle Brush Trees (red) in San Francisco. Does Tea Tree Oil come from these trees?

  38. Hi Barb

    the tea tree oil comes from the tea tree which is the melaleuca - the purply flower at the start of the post. I wrote a post on the two forms of tea tree called the tale of two tea trees - if you want you can search my blog for tea tree and it will provide you with the post. in June I think...

    Happy days


Note: Only a member of this blog may post a comment.