Leptospermum 'Aphrodite'


Family: Myrtaceae

This cultivar is a medium-sized shrub, growing to about 2.5 metres tall and wide.

Leptospermum ‘Aphrodite’ originated from Bywong Nursery, in southern NSW and was found in a batch of Leptospermum spectabile seedlings.

Leptospermum spp. have simple and alternate leaves. In this cultivar, the leaves are clustered along branches, narrow-elliptic / to linear elliptic, to 20 mm long by 2 to 3 mm wide, with an attenuating point; light green when young and aging to darker green.

Leptospermum typically produce solitary flowers, or in small groups of 2s and 3s or more, within the leaf axils. Flowers have 5 petals and sepals and have a symmetrical rotate shape.  Stamens are produced in groups of 5 which surround 1 carpel (female part). The prominent feature in Leptospermum is the hypanthium, a cup or vase-shaped receptacle that supports the flower.

In this culitvar, the branches become covered with bright pink flowers, each about 2 cm across, produced solitarily in leaf axils but heavily clustered along branches.

In the garden

A very attractive plant with mid-green lush foliage and producing bright dark pink flowers. It can be pruned into a dense rounded shrub. It is excellent for attracting bees and other insects.

Reported to grow best on loam soils – sandy loam to clay loam with good to moderate drainage. Benefits from some additional watering in hot and dry times. Plant in full sun to minor-shade position.

Leptospermum ‘Aphrodite’ would be an ideal addition to a hedge or screen.


Propagation should be from cuttings to preserve the desirable characteristics of this colourful cultivar.

Other information

Most Leptospermum species are endemic to Australia where most are found in southern areas of the country and many make desirable garden plants. However, please note the following changes:

In 2023, the genus Leptospermum of about 90-100 species, was reclassified and reduced to about 34 species, occurring in south-east Asia, New Guinea, Australia and New Zealand. Australia now has at least 31 species, occurring mostly in the eastern states. NSW currently has 31 species. The remaining approximately 60 species, that were previously Leptospermum, are now classified in four new genera: AggreflorumGaudiumLeptospermopsis and Apectospermum. Species in these new genera are titled as such on this website with the synonymous Leptospermum name also indicated, for clarity.

The general common name, Teatree, derives from the practice of early Australian settlers who soaked the leaves of several species in boiling water to make a herbal tea.

Leptospermum – derived from the Greek words leptos (λεπτός) meaning “thin”, “fine” or “slender” and sperma (σπέρμα) meaning “seed”, referring to the thin brown seeds of the genus.

‘Aphrodite’ – named for the Greek Goddess of sexual love and beauty – presumably referring to the beauty of the cultivar.

Gardening with Angus – Leptospermum ‘Aphrodite’ profile page https://www.gardeningwithangus.com.au/leptospermum-aphrodite-tea-tree/

Australian National Botanic Gardens – Leptospermum profile page https://www.anbg.gov.au/leptospermum/

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