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Characteristics: Small shrub 3.5 m spread 2 m
Seed per packet: 100
This sun loving shrub grows to around 2-3 m with a loose straggling habit. It has narrow leaves which are rigid, up to 2 cm wide x 8 cm long and are lemon scented when crushed. It bears many petal less flowers along its branches these are none the less bright red as they are composed of masses of brilliantly coloured stamens. The branches simultaneously carry fruits from the previous season's flowering.
Native to New South Wales, Queensland and Victoria.
Prefers a light to medium soil in a moist sunny position, frost resistant but drought tender.
Note: A paper by Lyn Craven of the Australian National Herbarium in 2006 argues that the differences between the genera Callistemon and Melaleuca are insufficient to warrant them being retained separately and that they should be combined. As Melaleuca has precedence some Australian state herbaria use the name Melaleuca citrina.
Although seed can be sown most of the year in Australia seed is generally best sown in spring or autumn in temperate climates, avoid the coldest and hottest months of the year. The optimum germination temperature for germination is around 18-22°C
General note: Seeds of many natives are dormant and require specific conditions or pre-treatment for germination.
Do not be too hasty to discard seed that does not germinate, seeds will often lay dormant until the conditions are similar to their natural requirements for germination to occur. Containers put to one side will often surprise long after they were discarded.