- San Diego Zoo
Bottlebrush: Crimson Bottlebrush Callistemon citrinus
FAMILY: MYRTACEAE (Myrtle Family)
Native to swampy areas of New South Wales, Victoria, and northern Queensland, the crimson bottlebrush Callistemon citrinus is a popular species worldwide that has been the source of many interesting cultivars. Its genus name means "beautiful stamens," because the bright red fringes that we admire are composed all of stamens and the "flower" or petal part is completely inconspicuous. The species name comes from the slightly lemony scent of the leaves.
This is one of the Australian plant species collected by Joseph Banks and Daniel Solander in 1770 during their "discovery" of the east coast of Australia, and by 1788 it was available to English horticulturists who were quite keen to grow it in their gardens.
Tree-size crimson bottlebrush is popular with developers and landscapers, since it's fast growing, drought tolerant, and blooms several times a year. It is also popular with hummingbirds that are drawn to its large, flashy, nectar-rich flowers.