Callistemon megalongensis

Megalong Valley Bottlebrush

Family: Myrtaceae

Callistemon megalongensis is a shrub growing to around 4.5 m tall with soft, flaking or peeling bark.

It is similar to Callistemon citrinus which occurs in the same area and is difficult to distinguish from it, except when in flower. Found in shrubby swamp communities near streams.

Leaves are arranged alternately and are to 55 mm long and only 5 mm wide.

The flowers are arranged in spikes on the ends of branches which continue to grow after flowering. Spikes are to 40 mm in diameter with 25 to 60 individual flowers. Some flowers can have up to 50 stamens! The filaments of the stamens are pink with a dark red anther. Flowering occurs in November and December.

Fruit which are woody capsules, 6 mm long.

This shrub is endemic to NSW and restricted naturally to the Megalong Valley in the Blue Mountains of NSW.

In the garden

Flowers are attractive to birds and insects.

Needs a damp situation and clay soil to grow best.

Prune 2/3rds off spent flower to encourage prolific growth and reduce woody stems.

Propagation

Propagation is from both seed and cuttings.

Other information

Regenerates from seed after fire. Most bottlebrushes will also put out reshoots from branches and the base of trunks.

Callistemon…from the combination of 2 Greek words of ‘callis’ meaning beauty and ‘stemon’ meaning stamen, referring to the flowers of the plant.
megalongensis…found in the Megalong Valley.

C. megalongensis is critically endangered and is restricted to a small section of the eastern Megalong Valley NSW.

This species is regarded as a synonym of Melaleuca megalongensis. Note that there is ongoing controversy about whether all Callistemon species should be absorbed into the Melaleuca genus).

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Melaleuca_megalongensis
http://plantnet.rbgsyd.nsw.gov.au/cgi-bin/NSWfl.pl?page=nswfl&lvl=sp&name=Callistemon~megalongensis

By Jeff Howes