English: Lemon Bottlebrush, Bottle Brush, Crimson Bottlebrush, Scarlet Bottlebrush
Main Synonyms: Angophora lanceolata Cav., Callistemon lanceolatus (Sw.) DC., Metrosideros lanceolata Sm.
Family: Myrtaceae (Myrtle family)
Country of origin: Australia (New South Wales, Victoria and Queensland).
Found in: Flower-beds of small parks, traffic islands (e.g. small public park across Sliema Ferries), buffer strips around parking lots.
Occurrence in the Maltese Islands: Frequent.
Flowering time: Summer-winter.
Description: An evergreen erect shrub or very small tree, which is approximately 2-3(6) m tall and wide, the stems have a light brown bark. Alternate leaves are green to bluish-green, flat and lanceolate to narrow-elliptic, about 4-7 cm long and 1 cm in width. They are leathery and have a distinct lemon scent when rubbed, hence the scientific and common name. Leaves of the new growth at the end of the branches are bronze-golden to copper-coloured. The flowers are arranged in cylindrical crimson spikes: very showy bright red inflorescences that resemble bottlebrushes. The genus name (Greek) means beautiful (callis) and stamen (stemon), because the flower is composed mostly of stamens. The fruits remain at the branch until the death of the plant, they represent woody capsules, containing numerous tiny seeds.
Remarks: The plant accepts different types of well drained sites in full to part sun. Because the shrubs are distributed in Australia usually in coastal areas it accepts some salt spray.
Again: This is my excuse for being absent in the forum for the next 3-4 weeks until the "Maltese Ornamentals" will be in print...
(AND I REALLY HOPE THAT YOU ALL WILL BUY THE BOOK!!!)