Aphrodite.JPG (31404 bytes)Leptospermum Aphrodite:  Give or take a few, there are 80 species of Leptospermum or Tea Trees. 75 species are endemic or native to Australia. The genus also occurs in South-east Asia, New Guinea and New Zealand.

Over the years many hybrids and cultivars have been developed in New Zealand usually from Leptospermum scoparium also known as Manuka. These hybrids have names such as Red Damask and Lambethii. Many of these NZ hybrids and cultivars have double flowers and come in a range of colours. The flowers are attractive but unfortunately the plants are prone to disease such as the disfiguring sooty mould fungi.

On the other hand (and trying not to be parochial) there are a number of hybrids and cultivars developed from Australian species with attractive flowers and no disease problems.  Leptospermum Aphrodite was released a couple of years ago and is a medium shrub with bright green foliage and masses of large pink flowers appearing in late spring. At Yallaroo, Aphrodite has survived, thrived and bloomed bounteously. As far as we know one parent is Leptospermum spectabile a rare Tea Tree found along the Colo River northwest of Sydney.

Propagation must be from cuttings to maintain the form.