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Callistemon sp.


All this spotting needs is time. Looking fairly unspectacular at present, these 'naturally-occurring' brottlebrush shrubs will come into bloom and reveal their spectacular flowers within a couple of months, at which time I will be able to nominate an exact species ID. Each flower forms a distinctive 'bottlebrush' shape, and a small woody fruit containing hundreds of tiny seeds. Callistemon is a genus of shrubs in the family Myrtaceae. The entire genus is endemic to Australia, of which there are approx. 50 species. They are extremely hardy shrubs that can tolerate a wide variety of soil conditions, preferably damp, flower most prolifically in full sun, and are long-lived up to 40+ years. Callistemons are closely related to Melaleucas, which also have bottlebrush-shaped flower spikes. Perhaps that explains their love of water? To be continued.....


This spotting was at lakes edge of Lake Manchester, a freshwater reservoir west of Brisbane. It is located in Brisbane Forest Park, an area of dense native bushland and subtropical rainforest.


What drew me to these bottlebrush was their preference for a watery habitat, and I saw many dotted along several sections of the lakefront. Their roots were completely immersed in water, and they were surrounded by aquatic plants such as Nymphaea sp. water lilies, dwarf papyrus (Cyperus prolifer), common three-square (Schoenoplectus pungens), Typha sp. cumbungi (bulrush), and some aquatic sedges, to name but a few. I did not see them at any other location other than at absolute lakes edge. PS: 22 July, 2018. I did see more bottlebrush along Cabbage Tree Creek, which is one of the tributaries into Lake Manchester. The first photo in this set (of the seed pods) is from a shrub spotted in this area.

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Neil Ross
Spotted by
Neil Ross

QLD, Australia

Spotted on Jul 8, 2018
Submitted on Jul 20, 2018

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