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'Hot Pink'. Photo - Linda Ross

You can use bottlebrush as a feature tree to attract birds and bees; in a regularly spaced row to screen neighbourly views; as a groundcover over an embankment; or as a low hedge at hip-height. 

Encourage an autumn flush of bottlebrush (Callistemon sp.) with a little native plant food. Trim the finished flowers 5cm behind the brushes to keep them compact and long-living.


Graham’s favourite is ‘Harkness’ which is also known as ‘Gawler hybrid’ (5m). He says it has ‘the best and longest red brushes, is a great street tree and because it’s a hybrid has no ugly seed capsules’. 

The best deep-pink varieties are ‘All Aglow’ (2.5m) and ‘Hot Pink’ (2m). 

A recent purple-flowering release, ‘Purple Splendour’ (2m) is on trial in Linda’s coastal garden.


Red bottle-brush (Callistemon) flower. Photo - somyot pattana/

There's a huge range available, why not spend half a day at a wildflower nursery near you to help. We like The Wildflower Place, Erina; Sydney Wildflower West Nursery, Healthcote and Newcastle Wildflower Nursery. They'll help you choose the native plant that thrive in heavy clay soils.

And don't forget eco-flo gypsum will improve drainage in clays soils


Text: Linda Ross


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Author: Linda Ross