Goshen News, Goshen, IN

Local News

January 31, 2013

The quirky and unusual bottlebrush plant

There are numerous plants that have that familiar bottlebrush look as a flower but only one that is actually named bottlebrush plant. It gets its name from its flower head resembling that all-to-familiar kitchen gadget that we use to get into a too-small- for-the-hand opening like a thermos or a small necked vase or bottle.

To name a few of the others, there is the familiar butterfly bush with its pendulum arching flower head, the potted Chenille that has the wooly worm looking pink/orange blossoms that is normally found as a hanging basket, and another not-so-familiar, but a prized landscape shrub, called Fothergilla ‘Mount Airy’ that displays a white bottlebrush and is even more valuable for its brilliant fall display of rust/bronze/orange colored leaves.

The bottlebrush plant (Callistemon) is quite common in Phoenix and known there as red bottlebrush or Little John and is considered evergreen with dark green foliage. They prefer the desert southwest because they are nearly drought resistant and can handle the dry conditions of the desert. When placed in a landscape setting in dry climates, however, it will benefit from a drip-line placed near the base as a water source.

Flowering occurs in the spring to mid-summer but the shrub itself remains as a low growing dwarf reaching a height of only two feet or so. One might occasionally see them in a tree form growing ten to twelve feet tall but as a domesticated shrub they are normally sold in this dwarf version. The flower-heads, normally red in color but sometimes pink, yellow or even white, attract hummingbirds as well as other nectar loving insects.

They originated in the more temperate coastal regions of Australia and favored moist conditions so when planted in gardens there they thrived with regular watering practices, however, the cultivar we are familiar with in the states is a drought resistant strain and more conducive to dry climates.

Text Only
Local News
Parade
Magazine

Click HERE to read all your Parade favorites including Hollywood Wire, Celebrity interviews and photo galleries, Food recipes and cooking tips, Games and lots more.
Poll

Goshen City Council member Dixie Robinson is asking residents to make an effort to clean up their yards this spring. The city’s Dial-A-Truck program is available to haul trash away. Do you think there are more unsightly properties in Goshen this year than five years ago?

Yes, I have noticed more problem properties
No, I have not noticed more problems
I think the problems are about the same as always
     View Results
AP Video
Captain of Sunken SKorean Ferry Arrested Raw: Fire Destroys 3 N.J. Beachfront Homes Raw: Pope Presides Over Good Friday Mass Raw: Space X Launches to Space Station Superheroes Descend on Capitol Mall Man Charged in Kansas City Highway Shootings Obama Awards Navy Football Trophy Anti-semitic Leaflets Posted in Eastern Ukraine Raw: Magnitude-7.2 Earthquake Shakes Mexico City Ceremony at MIT Remembers One of Boston's Finest Raw: Students Hurt in Colo. School Bus Crash Raw: Church Tries for Record With Chalk Jesus Raw: Faithful Celebrate Good Friday Worldwide Deadly Avalanche Sweeps Slopes of Mount Everest Police Arrest Suspect in Highway Shootings Drought Concerns May Hurt Lake Tourism Vermont Goat Meat Gives Refugees Taste of Home Calif. Investigators Re-construct Fatal Bus Cras Mayor Rob Ford Launches Re-election Campaign Appellate Court Hears Okla. Gay Marriage Case