Callistemon ‘Hannah Ray’ is a form or cultivar of Callistemon viminalis (Weeping Bottlebrush).
Callistemon ‘Hannah Ray’ is a tall shrub with pendulous branches, potentially reaching 5 metres tall.
Leaves are narrow-lanceolate, to about 7 cm long, and new growth is bright pink.
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, large bright red spikes are produced in mid-spring. Honeyeaters flock to the flowers. It can also have another flowering episode in Autumn in some areas.
Foliage, growth habit and flowers are all attractive features. The weeping form lends to its popularity.
It could be grown as a street tree.
It has been a popular plant and does not grow overly large. Tolerates a range of soils and will put up with a mild amount of poor drainage. Prune plants after flowering to produce denser plants and promote more flowers the following season. Give some water in dry times and fertilise after flowering for best results.
All cultivars must be propagated from cuttings to maintain true-to-type forms.
The genus Callistemon has been subject to recent taxonomic revision with early and recent botanists including Ferdinand von Mueller and Lyndley Craven (deceased in 2014) proposing to ‘lump’ the genus into Melaleuca and others. Craven et al. (2014) published new species combinations which included the renaming of all Callistemon species to Melaleuca, based on evolutionary relationships and DNA evidence and other features.
Currently, the NSW Herbarium advises that the Callistemon genus can still be used. There are currently about 30 species of Callistemon, which are found in all states of Australia as well as New Caledonia. About 28 are endemic to Australia. NSW currently recognises 24 species. New species have been 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.
‘Hannah Ray’ – named after Hannah Ray (1884-1973); married to Harry Hazlewood – whose family ran the first nursery in the Hills District of Sydney in the early 1900s.
Gardening with Angus – Callistemon ‘Hannah Ray’ profile page https://www.gardeningwithangus.com.au/callistemon-hannah-ray-bottlebrush/
Wrigley, J.W. & Fagg, M.I. (2001). Australian Native Plants – Propagation, cultivation and use in landscaping. 4th edition. New Holland Publishers, Pty. Ltd. Australia.