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Leptospermum ‘Piccolo’

cultivar

Family: Myrtaceae

Is a dense shrub growing to 1 metre tall by 1 metre wide. 

It originated out of Bywong Nursery as a selected form and likely has links to L. ‘Cardwell’ and ‘L. Rhiannon’.

The leaves are narrow to elliptic, 10 mm long by 4 mm wide, hairless and light to soft-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 cultivar, the flowers are produced solitarily, to 20 mm in diameter, vibrant crimson/pink in colour, occurring from August to October. It can flower very heavily. Interestingly, the author’s three-year old plant has not set any seed to date (this may be due to its hybrid origins).



In the garden

In the garden, this small shrub grows best in full sun and the author’s plant is thriving in heavy moist soil that only receives sun from mid-day onwards and no pests have been noticed. It will reportedly grow on most soils.

An attractive plant in flower and well worth growing as ideally suited to small gardens. Light pruning will keep it compact and increase the flower display.

Propagation

Must be propagated from cuttings to maintain form and characteristics.

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.

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 meaning “fine” or “slender” and sperma which means “seed” referring to the thin brown seeds of the genus.
‘Piccolo’ – named by Bywong Nursery. The meaning is not known but may relate to its small compact form.

Australian National Botanic Gardens – Leptospermum profile page https://www.anbg.gov.au/leptospermum/
Bywong Nursery – Leptospermum ‘Piccolo’ Profile Page https://www.bywongnursery.com.au/products/leptospermum-piccolo/

By Jeff Howes, edited Dan Clarke