L.confertus.JPG (29919 bytes)Lophostemon confertus: is a member of the Myrtaceae family, was previously known as Tristania conferta and is commonly known as Brush Box.
Lophostemon confertus is a medium tree with spreading canopy. The bark is brown, smooth and with a fibrous stocking around the base of the trunk.
The leaves may be up to 15 centimetres long, leathery, dark green above, paler beneath and elliptical in shape.
Flowers are white, two centimetres across and carried in clusters of three to seven. Flowering occurs from October to December. The flowers are followed by woody capsules resembling those of the Eucalypts. Seeds are retained in the capsules.
The Brush Box occurs from north-eastern Queensland to Newcastle in New South Wales. The species usually grows on moist, sheltered slopes often in rainforest.
Lophostemon confertus produces very valuable timber that has many uses.
Brush Box is widely cultivated and grown in parks, as a street tree and in shelterbelts and windbreaks. The species will cope with moderate frosts.
The photograph was taken in Westmead, a western suburb of Sydney, in November 2006. Brush Box is grown as a street tree throughout Sydney. Unfortunately they are often planted under power lines. These trees have to be pruned regularly. This ruins the shape of the tree and is a continual expense for local Councils.
There are two cultivars with variegated foliage. They develop into bushy, small trees.
Propagate from seed. The variegated cultivars must be propagated from cuttings or grafted onto “conventional” Brush Boxes.