Leptospermum

# SPECIEVARIETYFOLIAGE COLORFLOWER COLORHEIGHT
1Leptospermumlaevigatum"Austrailan Tea Tree" Single White15-20'
2  Tolerant of Alkaline soil, develops twisted bark with age   
3Leptospermumscoparium"New Zealand Tea Tree"   
4  Apple Blossom Double Light Pink to White8'
5  Burgandy Double dark Red8-`10'
6  Burgandy QueenmaroonDouble Burgandy Red12'
7  Candy Cane Semi-Double Pink w/ dark edge 
8  Crimson Glory Double red3' X 3'
9  Dark Shadowsdark weepingSingle red12-20'
10  Gaiety Girl Double deep Pink 
11  Helene Strybing Single Pink10'
12  Keatleyii Single Pale Pink10'
13  Martinii Double Pink6' X 6'
14  Pink Glory Double Pink6'
15  Pink Pearl Double White to Pink6-10'
16  Red Ensign Single Red6-10'
17  Ruby GlowdarkDouble Rose Red6-8'
18  Snow White Double White4-5'
19Dwarf Varieties     
20  Nanum Kiwi Single Red2-3'
21  Nanum Ruru Dark Pink2' X 2'
22  Nanum Tui Single Pink to Whtie4' X 8'
23Prostrate Varieties     
24  Horizontalis White12" X 6'
25  Pink Cascade Single Pink to White4' X 8'

Commonly referred to as Tea-tree, Leptospermum is distributed in Australia, South East Asia (i.e. the Malay peninsula, Sumatra, Borneo, Java, Philippines, Sulawesi, Thailand, Flores, Moluccas, Leptospermum is in the sub-family Leptospermoideae of family Myrtaceae and currently comprises 85 recognized species. The genus Leptospermum was first recognized by Johann Reinhold Forster and his son Johann Georg Adam Forster when they published the name L. scoparium Forst. & G.Forst. in 1776. southern Burma and New Guinea) and New Zealand. Whilst Leptospermum occupies a variety of habitats from coastal dunes to high mountain peaks, it is most commonly found in wet or periodically wet substrates that are acidic and low in nutrient content.

George Bentham was the first to treat the genus in his 1866 Flora Australiensis. Bentham recognized 20 species and his comments that the "... species are very difficult to distinguish" and that from the dried specimens, whether of the species here admitted or of the varieties or races, I have been unable to discover any positive discriminating characters are evidence of the problematic nature of the genus. Doubtless, some of these difficulties would have arisen from Bentham's broad concept of Leptospermum, which included species now assigned to Homalospermum Schauer, Neofabricia J.Thompson and Pericalymma (Endl.) Endl. In 1983 Thompson reinstated the genera Homalospermum and Pericalymma, described Neofabricia (based in part upon the genus Fabricia Gaertner) and then in 1989 published a revision of the genus Leptospermum. Thompson recognized 79 species with 27 of these being described as new. In 1992 Bean described another two species and clarified taxonomic problems associated with two northern Australian and Malesian taxa.
In 1993 Lyne and in 1996 Lyne and Crisp published descriptions of another two new species.

Current research by Lyne and Crisp has identified another new species in north-eastern New South Wales and south-eastern Queensland. A forthcoming paper will deal with this.

Leptospermum is a genus of about 86 species, distributed throughout Australia and extending to Malaysia and New Zealand. About 83 species occur in Australia, all but two endemic.

The common name tea-tree derives from the practice of early settlers of soaking the leaves of several species in boiling water to make a tea substitute. Most Leptospermum species make desirable garden plants. Flowers are mostly large, up to 3 cm in diameter, and they are hardy in most soils and aspects.

They are easy to propagate from seed or cuttings. Several cultivars have been established in the trade for many years. These have originated mainly from L. scoparium, a species that Australia shares with New Zealand. Most of the cultivars have developed from New Zealand stock and have occurred as chance seedlings in nurseries of other countries; that is, the United States, Ireland and the United Kingdom. With concentrated breeding effort, Australian species will produce hybrids far superior to these in terms of vigour and disease resistance. As is well known, most of the L. scoparium cultivars are prone to scale and the associated black smut. Many Leptospermum species make useful screen plants as most have a tight, compact growth. Species that flower on the new wood may be used as cut flowers.

Text used in this web-site is by John Wrigley from the the book Australian Native Plants, 4th edition, by John Wrigley and Murray Fagg, published by Reed Books, November 1996.

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