Leptospermum ‘Lemon Hedge’ is a narrow, upright shrub to 2.5–3 metres tall and 1–1.5 m wide.
It is a selected form of the taller Leptospermum petersonii.
Leptospermum spp. have simple and alternate leaves. In this cultivar, leaves are linear to narrow-lanceolate, to about 3 cm long by 0.4 cm wide, light green which can have red tips and a pleasant lemon-odour.
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 flowers are produced solitarily, each about 7 mm across, white in colour. It is grown for the foliage rather than the flowers.
It is fast growing, and so makes an ideal soft screen in a narrow space beside a driveway or fence. Plant about 1–1.5 m apart. It is naturally well-branched, but tip prune for more density and a hedge effect.
It can be affected by webbing caterpillars, so keep a close eye on plants and pull off any affected foliage before an infestation gets too bad
It is lovely planted where sunlight can reflect off the leaves.
Like most Leptospermum species, ‘Lemon Hedges’ is tough and hardy, and suitable for a wide range of positions.
All cultivars must be propagated by cutting or division to maintain true-to-type forms.
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.
The many cultivars in existence are still titled under Leptospermum.
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.
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.
‘Lemon Hedge’ – refers to both the light coloured foliage and the lemon scent, and use as screening plant.
Plants in a Box – Leptospermum petersonii ‘Lemon Hedge’ plant sales page https://plantsinabox.com.au/products/leptospermum-petersonii-lemon-hedge-plant-pack
Australian National Botanic Gardens – Leptospermum profile page https://www.anbg.gov.au/leptospermum/