Callistemon pallidus

Lemon Bottlebrush

Family: Myrtaceae

Callistemon pallidus has slender spreading branches growing to a height of 3 to 5 m by 2 m across. It is common on wet, rocky sites of the eastern ranges and occurs naturally in New South Wales, the Australian Capital Territory, Victoria and Tasmania. In the ACT, it is a dominant species in heath on exposed mountain slopes. It grows primarily on the coast and tablelands regions of NSW.

The grey green leaves are tapered to 5 cm long and dotted with oil glands and about 1 cm wide.

The lemon-coloured flowers are borne in profuse cylindrical spikes to 10 cm long and occur from September to January.

The cup-shaped fruit capsules are woody and contain numerous fine seeds.

Will stand moderate salt laden winds.

In the garden

Hardy and suited to most soils and a good hedge plant. Needs full sun to flower and grow best.

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

Flowers are attractive to birds and insects.


Propagation is easy from both seed and cuttings.

Other information

Can regenerate from seed and shoots from stem buds after fire.

Callistemon…from the combination of 2 Greek words of ‘callis’ meaning beauty and ‘stemon’ meaning stamen, referring to the flowers of the plant
pallidus…Latin, pale, referring to the light-coloured inflorescences.

Not endangered in the wild.

It is regarded as a synonym of Melaleuca pallida and Callistemon salignus var. hebestachyus. 

Note that there is ongoing controversy about whether all Callistemon species should be absorbed into the Melaleuca genus.


By Jeff Howes