Calytrix tetragona (pink form)

Fringe Myrtle

Family: Myrtaceae

The genus Calytrix has about 75 species, all endemic to Australia.

Calytrix tetragona is the most widespread member of the genus and can be found in woodland and forest in eastern and southern Australia.

The most common flower colour is white and there are forms with yellow, pink and purple to red. Some of these forms can be difficult to obtain.

In the garden

I have been growing the pink flowering form of Calytrix tetragona for many years, in my garden in the northern Sydney suburb of Westleigh. It is a rounded shrub that grows to about 1.2 metres high with a similar spread and produces massed clusters of pink, star shaped flowers in spring. During the many times, I have had my garden open under the Australian Open Garden Scheme, this is one of the native plants that visitors always stop to admire and ask “what is it”.

My plants are growing in a slightly raised bed of fine loam over a clay sub soil and receive little additional watering once established. As the pink form is reputed to grow naturally in western Victoria, it is important that the plant has excellent drainage and does not become water logged.

Calytrix tetragona is very easily grown, has a long life and is at its best in full sun or part shade. The only maintenance required is light pruning after flowering to keep it compact and prevent bare wood forming – this also helps promote better flowering next season.

When in flower, this plant is a must have for every Australian garden.


Other information

Calytrix…from Greek words, calyx and thrix (a hair); referring to the hairs at the end of the calyx tips. tetragona…four-angled, referring to the leaf.

By Jeff Howes