Botany Photo of the Day
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Callistemon viminalis 'Rose Opal'

Callistemon viminalis 'Rose Opal'

Chungii V, a member of the UBC Botanical Garden Forums contributes today's photo and plant write-up. Chungii V writes about one of the beautiful native species of his home country, Australia. Thanks for shariing, Chungii V.

Hey All, See how this one goes and over the coming months I thought I might throw a few of our Natives from "Downunder" at you.

I decided to start with the Callistemon sp. because they are a pretty good example of a native flower. The name Callistemon when broken down means 'kallistos' - beautiful, and 'stemon' - stamen. Many of our flowers are very simple in design—a high arrangement of stamens with very insignificant petals. The inflorescence is made up of many small flowers carried closely together. I believe that this ensures continuity as they produce a large amount of seed giving some chance that at least one will germinate.

Callistemon are probably one of the more versatile plants, being able to grow in dry areas as well as they do in wet. They have adapted to different environments and grow to varying heights from dwarf shrubs no more than 1 m (3 ft.) high to small trees around 5 - 7 m in height. There are over 30 species of Callistemon recorded—occurring naturally in shrubby bushlands and also in wetter floodplains and along riverbeds mainly on the east coast of Australia. There are a couple of ‘PBR’ varieties, which means they have been copyrighted by the person who produced them. There is a nice colour range. Though most commonly red, they can also be found in shades of burgundy, white, green and pink. They attract much wildlife and are often used by councils in S.E. Queensland as street trees.

Picture is of Callistemon viminalis ‘Rose Opal’. I like this one as it opens a rosy red and fades to a nice pink. The individual flowers will last a good week or so.

References: Callistemon (Bottlebrushes) and Callistemon viminalis from the Australian National Botanic Gardens website.


Beautiful photo, it really illustrates the description very well.

Just having come back from California for Grandson's Graduation, There are many of those bushes growing in San Jose...But they call them "Bottle Brush" flowers!!!! or bushes.
The beautiful ends of the stamens almost literally glow in the bright sunshine!

G'day Chungii V. Thanks for the picture and write-up!

It would be very nice to have a scale, preferably English, included on the photographs where possible or digitally added at the picture margin.

Otherwise a wonderful site and service that we enjoy every day!!

Wonderful photo, super write up! Thank you!!

"It would be very nice to have a scale..."

Good suggestion. Is it possible?

welcome chungii v

i live in florida
very hot here over on the west coast near
i can walk out the door out
on the grounds of where i live and the bottle
brush trees are all around me some with
spanish moss dripping on the trees.

thank you please come back again
hope your country rids itself of the flu

Yes, we have this hear in Northern California. We call them Bottle brushes. The hummingbirds love them!

As a kid I remember picking each little pieces and sucking out the sweet nectar too. But it does have a distinct smell that some may not like... kind of like pine.

Providing a scale for the photos would be rather difficult. The scale of the photo will depend on the distance of the photographer from her subject and the cropping and resizing that occurs in photo editing. The only truly accurate way to do so would be for the photographer to place a rule in the photo. That would hamper the aesthetic appreciation of the photo.

Although it has been done—such as this post where the measurement is so important.

Callistemon has recently been incorporated into the genus Melaleuca. So we know have to call these Melaleuca viminalis.

I could agree with a scale on photos if we were discussing floral parts and how big they are, etc. But a scale would ruin a lot of the estehtic appeal of the photos that appear here, and are sometime just impossible to provide (such as when out on a hike).

That said, Callistemon are incredibly common even around Monterey where I live. The typical type is C. citrinus. I used to hate them as a child because my brothers and I were made to hedge it (losing the flowers). But those left to grow on their own are beutiful and sprinkled with their large bottle brushes.

When we had to remove them (too close to the house), I discovered that they have incredibly hard wood, and took forever to cut down using a saw.

Another variety that is common is the "Little John" variety, which is diminutive in both leaf and flowers, forming short, dark red bottle brushes. It's quite charming.

This is a beautiful picture. Several years ago I had seen this plant in a building premises and I had been wondering about its name; until I came across a website describing its plant family and varieties. Now we can see plenty of them are planted in compound houses and more office building premises in Jakarta,Indonesia.

My sons said they look like "bottle brushes" before we read the descriptions and comments. We sure are enjoying seeing such variety each day.

These "bottle brush" have adapted very nicely to central Texas. They are somewhat cold hardy and very drought tolerant. (They have to be to grow at my house, since I rarely if ever water, especially in droughty times, like now.) The blooms come out several times if we are lucky, starting in early spring. Our variety is Callestemon citrinus.

Andy you are not quite correct. This change may have been published but all but one Australian herbaria have NOT accepted this because there is not sufficient scientific justification. I have been advised to leave Callistemon right where it is for the moment.

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