Gaudium blakelyi (syn. Leptospermum blakelyi)

Family: Myrtaceae

A typically small shrub that grows to a height of 1 metre.

It has a restricted distribution, found mostly around Lithgow NSW, with some records further north in Newnes State Forest as well as south-west of Blackheath (Shipley).

It grows in heath on rocky escarpments (granite and sandstone).

The species has closely flaky bark that is shed in fibrous strips.

Gaudium spp. have simple and alternate leaves. In this species, the leaves are broadly-elliptical to obovate, to 8 mm long to 5 mm wide, with a pungent to blunt point, mid green and the margins can have a reddish hue.

Gaudium spp. typically produce solitary flowers, or in small groups of 2s and 3s, 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 Gaudium/Leptospermum is the hypanthium, a cup or vase-shaped receptacle that supports the flower.

In this species, flowers are produced solitarily or in groups of up to 4, about 7 mm in diameter, with white to pink petals, occurring November to December.

The fruit is a capsule, with 5 valves, to 3.5 mm in diameter.

In the garden

This species is not readily known in cultivation at the time of this publication. It has been studied along with other Leptospermum and Gaudium species for its bee attracting potential (see references). It may become more readily available into the future.

Grows naturally on granite and sandstone outcrops. May need a well-drained soil to thrive.

Most Gaudium species make hardy garden plants.

Gaudium spp. (formerly Leptospermum) are generally susceptible to the webbing caterpillar. Usually the most effective control method for this pest is removing infestations by hand or, if necessary, you can systematically spray with a suitable pesticide. They are also prone to scale insects which is best treated by spraying white oil solution.


They are easy to propagate from seed or cuttings.

Other information

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.

Gaudium is a genus of 22 species, endemic to Australia, occurring mainly in eastern Australia, with one species occurring in Western Australia. NSW currently has 15 species. Gaudium differs from Leptospermum by having fruiting-capsules usually deciduous and either non-woody, or with non-woody valves. In addition, the seeds of Gaudium are ovoid to cuneiform and with a reticulate (net-like) surface, whereas they are linear with longitudinal striations in Leptospermum.

Many Gaudium species have an ability to regenerate vegetatively after fire with suckering basal growth and branch-shoots. They will also regenerate by seed.

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.

Gaudium – Latin for ‘joy’ – in tribute to NSW Herbarium Botanist Joy Thompson (1923-2018) who published an extensive study on Leptospermum in 1989 (which recognised several new species), and was considered the primary expert on the genus.

blakelyi – honours William Blakely (1875-1941) who wrote an unpublished description of this species. He was an Australian botanist and collector. From 1913 to 1940, he worked in the National Herbarium of New South Wales, working with Joseph Maiden on Eucalyptus.

This species is not considered to be at risk in the wild, but has a limited distribution.

Plants of South Eastern NSW – Leptospermum blakelyi profile https://apps.lucidcentral.org/plants_se_nsw/text/entities/leptospermum_blakelyi.htm

NSW Flora Online (PlantNET) – Gaudium profile page                  https://plantnet.rbgsyd.nsw.gov.au/cgi-bin/NSWfl.pl?page=nswfl&lvl=gn&name=Gaudium

NSW Flora Online (PlantNET) – Gaudium blakelyi profile page    https://plantnet.rbgsyd.nsw.gov.au/cgi-bin/NSWfl.pl?page=nswfl&showsyn=&dist=&constat=&lvl=sp&name=Gaudium~blakelyi

By Jeff Howes. Editing and additional text by Dan Clarke.