Callistemon brachyandrus, Mallee Bottlebrush, Prickly Bottlebrush and Prickly Mallee Bottlebrush
Callistemon brachyandrus has a number of common names including: Mallee Bottlebrush, Prickly Bottlebrush and Prickly Mallee Bottlebrush.
Callistemon brachyandrus is usually a small to medium shrub with small prickly leaves. Young growth is softly hairy.
The striking flower spikes are small, about six centimetres long and red with golden anthers. The flowering period extends from spring to autumn with sporadic flowering at other times.
Full sun is preferred for maximum flowering.
Callistemon brachyandrus occurs in the inland regions of New South Wales, Victoria and South Australia.
The Prickly Bottlebrush could be grown in an informal hedge. Pruning after the main flowering period will keep plants bushy and flowering prolifically.
We first encountered this free-flowering Bottlebrush growing in a Taree garden on the North Coast of New South Wales. Cuttings were collected and now specimens are scattered throughout our cold climate garden. Our plants have proved to be very hardy and cope with drought and frost. They have developed into small shrubs about one metre tall.
The species was described and illustrated (see thumbnail) in the Journal of the Horticultural Society of London 1849 Volume 4. The seed was said to have been collected on the north coast of Australia in 1843. This may have been an error as Callistemon brachyandrus is an inland species and unlikely to be found on the coast.
Propagate from seed and cuttings.
Warren and Gloria Sheather