Calothamnus.JPG (39120 bytes)Calothamnus species: Are members of the Myrtaceae family. They are small to medium shrubs. There is also at least one ground covering form. Old stems carry leaf scars. The leaves may be terete, narrow or flat in shape, depending on species.
Flowers are usually carried on old wood and are clustered together in cylindrical spikes that are usually carried on one side of the stem. This has given rise to one common name: One-sided Bottlebrush. Flower colour is usually red but there are forms with yellow and lime-green blooms. The flowers are rich in nectar and are visited by a constant stream of honeyeaters. Depending on species, the flowering period extends throughout the year.
There are 38 species and they are all confined to the south-west corner of Western Australia . Nearly every patch of bush, in this area, has Calothamnus plants present.
In the 1980ís, Trevor Hawkeswood, a graduate of the University of New England (in New South Wales), revised the genus and named 13 of the 38 species.
Another common name is Net Bush. This probably refers to the soft hairs that cover the foliage of some species.
We have many Calothamnus specimens in our gardens. They have proved to be hardy, free flowering and bird attracting. Our plants are pruned annually and are kept to a height of about 1.5 metres.
We have been a trifle lazy and, as yet, have not identified the species in our gardens. There are probably two or three.
Propagate from seed or cuttings that will strike readily.