Callistemon 'White Anzac'

Family: Myrtaceae

Callistemon ‘White Anzac’ is a form of Callistemon citrinus collected from a wild population on “Anzac Cove”, southern Sydney NSW. The cultivar was registered in 1986.

It is a sprawling shrub growing to a height of 1 metre with a maximum spread of 3 metres.

Callistemon spp. have simple and alternate to spiral leaves. In this cultivar, the lanceolate leaves are about 6 cm long by 1 cm wide.

In Callistemon species, flowers are usually arranged in spikes (the “bottlebrush”) which are produced at the terminals but which the stem then grows past, into a leafy shoot. Flowers have five small circular sepals and five circular petals which persist on the flowers. Like many other Myrtaceae genera, the flowers are conspicuously staminate with each flower having many stamens surrounding one carpel. The stamens are typically free although may be fused at the basal parts (a generally useful identifying feature for the genus to distinguish it from Melaleuca). The pedicels of the flowers are very short. In this cultivar, the inflorescences are white aging to creamy white, often in clusters of 3; to 15 cm long by 6 cm in diameter. The flowering season is from November to January.

In the garden

C. ‘White Anzac’, because of its growth habit, would make an attractive, long flowering foreground specimen in garden beds. It can be grown as a hedge and can be kept low.

Plant in sandy soil and full sun for best results. Prune after flowering to encourage denser bushes and promote more flowering.


All cultivars must be propagated from cuttings to maintain ‘true-to-type’ form.

Other information

The origins of the cultivar are somewhat confusing. It is reported that this cultivar (form of Callistemon citrinus) was first collected at “Anzac Cove, southern Sydney”. Assuming that the only true Anzac Cove is at Gallipoli, Turkey, this Editor assumes that what is meant is the bushland at La Perouse or Little Bay (southern Sydney) along Anzac Parade. Further “digging” suggests this might be correct as the original collector, Mr W Cane, stated that he collected it at “Anzac Cove”, near a large hospital in 1964. This Editor assumes that this hospital is the former Prince Henry Hospital site on Anzac Parade, Little Bay (Jennifer St – Botany Bay National Park-area and St Michael’s Golf Course; where there is still plenty of bushland on coastal sand plains).

The cultivar also showed up elsewhere as C. ‘Moonbeam’. It is advised that all of these names C. ‘Anzac’, C. ‘Moonbeam’, and C. citrinus ‘Moonbeam’ and ‘Anzac’, should all be referred to as C. ‘White Anzac’.

Regenerates after fire from epicormic and basal shoots as well as from the seedbank.

Callistemon is a genus of about 30 species, occurring in Australia and New Caledonia. Australia has about 26 species endemic, occurring in all states. NSW currently has 24 species. Some new ones have been formally described in the last 20 years.

Callistemon – From the Ancient Greek – Callos (κάλλος) – meaning “beautiful” (which is changed to κάλλη to describe a noun) and and stêma (στῆμα) meaning “stamen”, referring to the very showy staminate flowers of the bottle-brush inflorescences.

‘White Anzac’ – referring to Anzac Parade, Little Bay (southern Sydney) where it was first collected and the unusual white flowers (rather than red).

Gardening with Angus – Callistemon ‘White Anzac’ profile page https://www.gardeningwithangus.com.au/callistemon-white-anzac-anzac-bottlebrush/

Australian National Botanic Gardens – Australian Cultivar Registration Authority – Callistemon ‘White Anzac’ profile page                                                              https://www.anbg.gov.au/acra/descriptions/acc239.html

Benara Nurseries – Callistemon ‘White Anzac’ sales page            https://www.benaranurseries.com/callistemon-white-anzac

By Warren and Gloria Sheather. Editing and additional text by Dan Clarke.