Approximately twenty-five species of Callistemon grow in Australia
and nearby New Caledonia.
This small evergreen tree grows from about fifteen to thirty feet tall. It has
attractive narrow leaves and white papery bark. New leaves are reddish in
color. It blooms in in spring and summer. Flower spikes are usually white or
cream in color but pink, red and mauve forms are reported. The willow
bottlebrush has some salt tolerance and is appropriate for coastal gardens but
not the beach front. It is a popular garden tree in Australia and is cultivated in California.
Light: full sun
Water: drought tolerant when established
Soil: average soil, wide pH tolerance, no special requirements
This plant was donated to UNF as C. salignus by a nursery owner who found it at Jacksonville Beach. UNF staff is monitoring
the plant to verify its identity and learn its tolerances. The genus Callistemon
is very closely allied to the genus Melaleuca, a few of which are serious pest plants in south Florida. Fortunately, Callistemon species have not shown invasive
tendencies in Florida.