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Leptospermum emarginatum

Twin-flower Teatree

Family: Myrtaceae

A large shrub growing to 4 metres tall by 2 metres wide.

It has a natural distribution of usually being within 100 km of the coast, extending south from Wisemans Ferry and Katoomba in the Greater Sydney area, through the lower mountains and southern highlands, down through the south coast and into eastern Victoria (extending towards Melbourne).
It is mainly found along river banks and rocky creeks, usually sandstone-based.

It has rough bark that is shed in stringy strips on mature stems.

Leaves are narrow oblanceolate to obovate to elliptic, with an aroma when crushed, to 30 mm long and to 7 mm wide with a small notch at the tip, mid-green to olive-green in colour.

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 species flowers are borne in groups of up to five on short side shoots, to 10 mm in diameter, white in colour, occurring from Spring to Summer. The hypanthium has conspicuous glands.

The fruit is a capsule, woody, to 5 mm wide, that typically falls off the plant after the seeds are released.

In the garden

This plant is available commercially; however, not a lot of cultivation information is currently available. It is not currently cultivated widely. It could be grown, if plants can be sourced, on a free draining sandy soil in an open sunny to part shade position.

Most Leptospermum species make good garden plants.

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.

Propagation

They are easy to propagate from seed or cuttings.

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. Current estimates recognize about ninety species of Leptospermum along with many cultivars now existing.
The nectar from the flowers of one species (L. scoparium) is harvested by bees, yielding honey, which is marketed as Manuka honey.

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.

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

Leptospermum – derived from the Greek words leptos meaning “fine” or “slender” and sperma which means “seed” referring to the thin brown seeds of the genus.
emarginatum – Latin meaning “notched” – referring to the notch in the apex of the leaves.

Not considered to be at risk in the wild.

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

Wikipedia – Leptospermum emarginatum profile page https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Leptospermum_emarginatum

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

By Jeff Howes, edited by Dan Clarke