Leptospermum ‘Pink Cascade’

cultivar

Family: Myrtaceae

A small shrub growing to 1 metre tall by 1.5 metres wide, with an arching / weeping habit.

It is a hybrid, reported to have come from Leptospermum ‘Pacific Beauty’ (a cultivar of L. polygalifolium) and L. scoparium (Manuka). It originated in Wrightco Nursery at Bangalow, NSW, in 1982.

The leaves are linear and slightly prickly, to 20 mm long by 3 mm wide, and mostly dark green. The new growth can be bright to dark red.

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, the flowers are produced solitarily, but in continuous sprays, to 20 mm in diameter, bright pink and then ageing to white, occurring in spring and autumn and spot flowering at other times. It can flower very profusely which has made it popular.

In the garden

This cultivar is popular due to its spectacular pink-flowered and weeping form. Entire plants can be covered in pink flowers.

It is a very hardy shrub. 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 subtropical, temperate and cool climate gardens.

Can be pruned to create a dense 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.

It is recommended for rockeries and sloping beds. Can withstand dry periods.

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.

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.
Pink Cascade’ – named for pink flowers borne on weeping foliage.

Australian National Botanic Gardens – Leptospermum profile page https://www.anbg.gov.au/leptospermum/
Australian National Botanic Gardens – Leptospermum ‘Pink Cascade’ profile page
https://www.anbg.gov.au/acra/descriptions/acc353.html
Gardening with Angus – Leptospermum ‘Pink Cascade’ Profile Page:
https://www.gardeningwithangus.com.au/leptospermum-x-pink-cascade-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.

By Dan Clarke