Bottlebrush makes an exciting addition to the landscape -- the bright red plumes bloom from spring to fall and the plant can be shaped into a bush or a tree. Cold hardy to zero degrees, bottlebrush grows in zones 7A to zone 11.
Bottlebrush has dense foliage and a fast growth habit.
Plant grows to 10-15' tall. Space plants 6-8' apart unless a dense hedge is desired.
The 'Red Cluster' cultivar tends to stay full to the ground, and is the best cultivar for growing as a bush. It is softer to the touch than the 'Buckhorn Scarlet', with a smaller, more delicate leaf.
Flowers are literally shaped like a baby's bottlebrush, and attract bees, butterflies, and even hummingbirds. It is a very eye-catching addition to the landscape.
Bottlebrush prefers full sun to mostly full sun, and well drained moist soil rich in organic matter and nutrients. Pruning is optional, but trimming up to a third of the foliage first thing in the spring will encourage more blooms.
Plant is tolerant of a wide pH range: 6.0 pH to 7.8 pH. Also somewhat tolerant of drought, though consistent water encourages faster growth and more blooms. Plant is naturally found along streams and river banks in its native environment.
Plant is deer and insect resistant.
Bottlebrush is native to Australia, but cultivated all over the world in zones 7a to 11, and blooms most profusely in the warmer months of the year.
It is a genus of shrubs in the family Myrtaceae. There are about 50 species total, but only about 3-4 that are readily found in north & central Florida:
C citrinus 'Little John' (dwarf 3-5' tall)
C rigidus 'Scarlet Torch'
C viminalis 'Buckhorn Scarlet' stiffer habit than 'Red Cluster'
C viminalis 'Red Cluster' smaller leaf & bushier habit than 'Buckhorn Scarlet'
Bottlebrush are closely related to the paperbark melaleucas
photo courtesy of berichard (Wikimedia)
3G plants: approx 24"x12" $19ea
7G plants: approx 46"x20-24" $49ea