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Leptospermum ‘Purple Haze’

Family: Myrtaceae

A dense shrub growing to 1.5 metres tall and 1 metre wide. The small opposite leaves are narrow to elliptic, to 8 mm long by 4 mm wide, hairless and light 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 purple in colour, occurring from August to October. It can flower very heavily.

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.

An attractive plant in flower and well worth growing for it showy ‘purple’ flowers and is ideally suited to small gardens growing in a wide range of soils and climates.

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.

This author grows this plant and it has produced another flush of flowers in February 2022 after a particular wet 2021 Spring/Summer in Sydney.

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.

‘Purple Haze’ – a name provided by Bywong Nursery and is named for the purple flowers.

This plant is reqistered with the Australian Cultivar Registration Authority (ACRA No.1595) The Applicant: Peter Ollerenshaw of Bywong Nursery, on behalf of the ANPSA. Refer to the ACRA web site for L. ‘Purple Haze’ https://www.anbg.gov.au/acra/descriptions/acc1595.html

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

Bywong Nursery – Leptospermum ‘Purple Haze’ product description page  https://bywongnursery.com.au/products/leptospermum-purple-haze/

 

By Jeff Howes, edited Dan Clarke