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Callistemon salignus, Willow Bottlebrush

Callistemon salignus is known as the Willow Bottlebrush. The species name means willowy and refers to the growth habit.

Callistemon salignus is a tall shrub or small tree. The leaves are narrow-elliptical, soft texture, pale green with numerous oil dots. Juvenile foliage is bright pink. 

The brushes are creamy-white to yellow, five centimetres long by three centimetres wide and appear in spring. Brushes are usually abundant and conspicuous. Sometimes there are sporadic blooms in autumn. Honeyeaters are attracted to the nectar-rich brushes. In our cold climate garden, Eastern Spinebills and Noisy Friarbirds (Leatherheads) are frequent visitors.

Callistemon salignus occurs in coastal districts and the northern tablelands of New South Wales as well as southern Queensland.

There is a cultivar known as ‘Great Balls of Fire’ that has red juvenile foliage. This cultivar is said to produce few flowers.

Propagate from seed or cuttings. “Great Balls of Fire” should be grown from cuttings to preserve the coloured foliage.

Warren and Gloria Sheather

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