A small shrub growing to 1.5 metres tall by 2 metres wide with a spreading habit.
It is a form of Leptospermum rotundifolium and has been in cultivation for a good length of time.
Leptospermum spp have simple and alternate leaves. In this cultivar, leaves are circular to broad-elliptic (rounded), to 7 mm long and wide, mid-green, arranged in a neat appearance and openly spaced along the branches, with pointed tips and a slightly shiny texture. They are strongly aromatic when crushed.
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 cultivar, flowers are produced solitarily, to 30 mm or more in diameter, mauve-purple, occurring in spring.
The capsules are to 15 mm in diameter and persist after the seed is released.
This cultivar is popular due to deep mauve flowers.
It grows readily in a sandy to heavier, free-draining soil, and will benefit from some enrichment, in full sun to part shade. It may not thrive in boggy soils. It is suited to temperate and cool climate gardens.
Can be pruned to create a dense and spreading plant. Place in an area where it is free to spread out and be admired, and where it has room to expand its weeping form.
Can withstand dry periods. Prune lightly after flowering to control form and density.
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.
Must be propagated from cuttings to retain form and characteristics.
All cultivars must be propagated by cuttings to remain true-to-type.
Many Leptospermum 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.
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: Aggreflorum, Gaudium, Leptospermopsis and Apectospermum. Species in these new genera are titled as such on this website with the synonymous Leptospermum name also indicated, for clarity.
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.
‘Lavender Queen’ – named for the colour of the flowers.
Australian National Botanic Gardens – Leptospermum profile page https://www.anbg.gov.au/leptospermum/
Gardening with Angus – Leptospermum ‘Lavender Queen’ profile Page: https://www.gardeningwithangus.com.au/leptospermum-rotundifolium-lavender-queen-tea-tree/
Wrigley, J.W. & Fagg, M.I. (2001). Australian Native Plants – Propagation, cultivation and use in landscaping. 4th edition. New Holland Publishers, Pty. Ltd. Australia.