This section is from the book "The Standard Cyclopedia Of Horticulture Vol2", by L. H. Bailey. See also: Western Garden Book: More than 8,000 Plants - The Right Plants for Your Climate - Tips from Western Garden Experts.
(Greek, hallos, beauty; stemon, a stamen; in most of the species the stamens are of a beautiful scarlet or crimson color). Myrtaceae. Bottle-Brush. Ornamental shrubs, thriving without irrigation in California, where they are hardy and much used; also planted to some extent elsewhere in warm climates and occasionally seen under glass. Page 3566.
Leaves alternate, entire, lanceolate or linear, mostly with oil- or resin-dots and fragrant when crushed: flowers in dense cylindric spikes, at first terminal but the axis growing out as a leafy shoot; calyx-teeth 5; petals 5, deciduous; stamens indefinite in number, not united; anthers versatile, the cells parallel and bursting longitudinally; ovary inferior, maturing into a caps, which persists for several years. - About 25 species, natives of Austral., where they inhabit arid districts. Distin-guished from Melaleuca only by the stamens, which in that genus are united into bundles. Hall, Univ. Calif. Pub. Bot. 4:22.
The showy flower-clusters, resembling bottle-brushes in shape, and so giving the common name to the genus, are highly colored and render these shrubs very ornamental. The quantity of bloom may be much increased by judicious autumn pruning. The various species are recommended for parks, depot-grounds, school - yards, and also for smaller yards if kept well pruned. Hardy only in warm-temperate districts but enduring temperatures less than 20° F.
Propagation from seeds is satisfactory: these are gathered during the summer months by allowing the capsules to open in boxes or on sheets of paper kept in a warm place; sow in early spring in finely sifted mixture of sand, leaf-mold, and loam, and cover very lightly; the ordinary cool greenhouse is warm enough. Some nurserymen state that plants from cuttings of ripened wood or of wood which is getting firm at the base will blossom earlier than seedlings; others find no advantage in this method. Although adapted to nearly every variety of soil, these plants make but slow growth in heavy clay.
a. Stamens 3/4-l in. long.
DC. (Metrosideros semperflorens, Lodd.). Fig. 745. Height 6-12 ft.: leaves lanceolate, 1^-23^ in. long, about 1/4in. wide, acute, reddish when young; midrib and lateral veins prominent: spikes 2-4 in. long, bright red, less dense than in the following species: fruit ovoid, contracted at summit. Jan. - June. B.M. 260
Fig. 745. Callistemon lanceolatus. (X 2/3) (as M. citrina). Maiden, Flower Pl. and Ferns of New S. Wales, 8. - Attains 30 ft. in Austral, where the hard and heavy wood is used for wheelwrights' work and for mallets. Garden hybrids between this and other species have been developed, especially in Eu.
DC. Large shrub: leaves narrowly lanceolate, obtuse or acute, 1 1/2-4 in. long, about 1/4in- broad; midrib prominent but lateral veins obscure: spikes 2-6 in. long, bright red, very dense: fruit nearly globose, the summit scarcely contracted. March-June. B.M. 1761. -The most highly colored callistemon, the golden anthers contrasting well with the dark red filaments. There are many garden forms varying in color, habit, and size.
Cheel. Tall slender tree of pendulous habit: leaves linear-oblong: stamens slightly shorter: rim of fruit thinner. - A handsome, graceful tree, very showy when in full bloom. Grown at Santa Barbara, Calif. (Formerly referred to C. speciosus, of which this may be a form.)
R. Br. (C. linearifolius, DC). Leaves narrowly linear, rigid, sharp-pointed, 2-5 in. long, about 1/8in. wide; midrib and marginal ribs prominent; cross-nerves often hidden by oil-dots: spikes deep red, large, dense. March-July. B.R. 393. - Stiffly branched shrub, the branches inclined to become rangy; best form and bloom secured by means of autumn pruning. In order to have fine specimen plants, cult, well and now and then give an application of commercial fertilizer.
DC. Scarcely more than an extreme form of C. rigidus with very narrow leaves channeled above, the midvein quite obscure: fruit more globular and contracted at opening.
aa. Stamens 1/2in. or less long. salignus, DC. Tall shrub or small tree: leaves lanceolate, acute, 1 1/2-3 in. long, 1/4 -3/4in. wide (much narrower in one variety), very distinctly penniveined: spikes yellow or light pink, 1-2 in. long: fruit nearly globular, with rather large opening. Apr., May. B.M. 1821. variety viridiflorus, F. v. M. Leaves only 1-2 in. long, thicker, rigid; veins obscure: flowers greenish yellow. B.M. 2602.
Lindl. Slender shrub, young shoots soft-hairy or whole plant gray with a soft pubescence: leaves rigid, nearly terete, 3/4-l 1/2 in. long: spike 2-3 in. long, the filaments dark red but nearly obscured by the golden yellow anthers. - The slender habit, gray foliage, and golden bloom render this shrub very desirable for ornamental planting.
Harvey Monroe Hall.