Callistemon cf. speciosus (Sims) Sweet

Albany bottlebrush, swamp bottlebrush
Myrtaceae
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Hermaphrodite


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Callistemon cf. speciosus
Elena Torres & Santiago Moreno
Licensed under CC BY-NC-SA

Callistemon cf. speciosus: Appearance of the shrub in full bloom

Appearance of the shrub in full bloomBranch with lanceolate leaves 5 cm long x 1 cm wide; the scars on the branch are from the fruits of the previous year, some of which still persistCylindrical spike 9 cm long and 4 cm in diam.; the long and showy red stamens are striking The immature fruits and the axis on which they are inserted are hairy
Etymology

Callistemon: From “kallos” (Gr.) = beauty and “stemon” (Gr.) = stamen, because of the beautiful long and colorful stamens of its flowers

speciosus, -a, -um: showy, splendid

Description

Habit: Evergreen, ramose shrub or small tree 1-5(9) m tall.

Leaves: alternate, persistent, with short petioles or subsessile, 3-5(10) long x 0.5-2 cm wide, simple; blade elliptic to oblanceolate, acute, entire, leathery, with a smell of lemon when crushed.

Flowers: hermaphrodite, actinomorphic, epigynous, pentamerous, sessile, arranged in dense spikes located between vegetative sections of the branch; hypanthium ± urceolate; sepals and petals free, small, inconspicuous and deciduous; stamens numerous, up to 2.5 cm long, exserted, with very showy filaments, usually red; gynoecium slender, with an inferior ovary.

Fruit: capsule 0.5 cm in diam., dehiscent, with 3-4 apical valves.

Phenology

It flowers between March and June.

Geographic origin

Native to Australia.

Observations

It is often cultivated as an ornamental because of its showy cylindrical inflorescences, whose extremely numerous stamens are arranged in a way that is reminiscent of the brushes used to clean bottles and pipes.

The species of this genus are very similar to those of the genus Melaleuca, which they could be confused with, and also hybridize easily.

It is propagated from seeds or cuttings.

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