Garden Oracle / Drought and Heat Tolerant Gardening / Tucson - Phoenix - Arizona - California

Callistemon citrinus:
Crimson Bottlebrush

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Form: Shrub.
Leaf retention: Evergreen.
Growth rate: Moderate.
Mature Size: 3-12' high and 4-9' wide.
Flowers: A bottlebrush shape composed mostly of red stamens.
Bloom: Fall or spring, or sporadically throughout the year, depending on climate and cultivar.
Fruit: Woody seed capsules.
Leaves: Green, lance-shaped, leathery, with a lemon smell when crushed, edible.
Stems: No thorns.
Wildlife: Attracts butterflies, bees, and hummingbirds.
Toxic / Danger: No.
Origin: Australia.

Cultivation and Uses
USDA hardiness zones: 9-11. This plant may die to the ground in hard freezes and come back from its roots.
Heat tolerant: Yes.
Drought tolerant: Yes.
Sun: Full sun. Avoid locations that are in part shade for a significant part of the day to prevent the foliage and branches from developing more on the sunny side, resulting in a lopsided appearance.
Water after becoming established: Once or twice a month.
Soil: Well drained, dry, pH 6.1-9.0 (slightly acidic to highly alkaline). Damp soil results in root fungal diseases.
Mulch: Around roots before the first predicted frost.
Prune: In summer after flowering. Blooms occur on new growth. This plant can be trimmed into a hedge. It is less desirable as a tree shape because of its growth pattern.
Litter: Low.
Propagation: Seed or cuttings.
Uses: Ornamental, hedge. The leaves are used for tea or to flavor stews.

This plant is a member of the Myrtle family (Myrtaceae). Another common name is Lemon Bottlebrush. The pictures are of a dwarf cultivar.

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Callistemon citrinus: Crimson Bottlebrush - flower

Callistemon citrinus: Crimson Bottlebrush - seed capsules

Callistemon citrinus: Crimson Bottlebrush

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Latest update: February, 2022