Wednesday, 22 August 2012

Callistemon citrinus - Crimson Bottlebrush, Lilium Davidii

The Callistemon is a shrub and native to SE Australia. It is rather a strange plant as it's woody flower buds appear in the winter. 
The first plant came to England in the 18th century and was grown from a root sent over from Botany Bay. The citrinus part of the name derives from a distinctive lemon smell when the leaves are bruised. Our shrub is well over two metres tall, and against all of the odds has survived outside and coped with two very cold snowy winters during its 15 year life span. In this country it is recommended as an indoor conservatory plant to be moved out of doors in the summertime. 
As the flowers mature they become pinker in colour resembling electric filaments - just spotted an ant in the middle of the photo! This Callistemon citrinus finished flowering in July.
Lily Davidii is a new addition to the garden this year and has just come into flower. Not too keen on orange flowers normally, but this is a really rich colour with red highlights, and lovely black stems.

36 comments:

  1. Lovely to see a bottlebrush shrub growing so well in England. They tolerate our heat very well, I wouldn't have thought they would also survive snow. A very hardy plant. I love watching the little bits uncurl as the flower springs to life.

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    1. Dear Karen - it is surprising that it has tolerated two cold snowy winters. We thought it had died but it came back to life again. People always remark when they see it in flower, and express how unusual it is to see it growing happily out of doors in this country.

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  2. I already loved the bottlebrush, but your macro shots make me realize how even more beautiful and exotic it is! Great photos!

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    1. Thank you and also thank you for showing me lovely Norway today.

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  3. At first view of the Bottlebrush photo I thought I was looking at the plumage of an exotic bird! Beautiful flower, an explosion of colour :)

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    1. Dear Rosemary - it is a strange flower, and one that is not commonly seen here. As I mentioned it is usually considered to be a conservatory plant. Not only are its flowers unusual but so are its funny woody buds. When they next appear I must take a photograph of them.

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    2. I forgot to mention how pleased you must be to have kept the plant alive and happy for so long when it is so delicate. Congratulations and I look forward to seeing a photo of the bud :)

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    3. We really thought that it had finished after the second very cold winter, and were very surprised when it sprouted again. I will be watching out for the buds when they appear, they are really strange.

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  4. Dear Rosemary - I am starting to believe that you've been playing a very clever hoax on us all, and that you are actually gardening in the Amazon forests of Brazil! Confess!

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    1. Dear Mark - to be perfectly honest, which I am, you do expose an interesting question here. Am I who I say I am and do I garden where I say I do, and in fact is everything I write here a complete fabrication? I cannot prove it, so you will just have to take me on trust, which I am sure you do.
      Could my exotic plants be the results of global warming?

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    2. Dear Rosemary - Your reply is reassuring, but it has conjured in my mind a most surreal painting! In the painting, magnetic poles have reversed and St. Paul's is beset by palm trees and jungle vines, like Angkor Wat.

      Whether I fantasize or not, I known there would still be very exotic plants in at least one part of Britain. :o)

      And I certainly do believe in global warming! Mark

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    3. Now I really do want to see that surreal painting Mark.

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  5. Your garden must look like an exotic paradise Rosemary. Such colourful brightness again! Beautiful. You're right, the red spots and stems of the Lily make the orange much more agreeable.
    Bye,
    Marian

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    1. I am really pleased with the lily Marian - I ordered it last winter, and it is better than I expected.

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  6. Dear Rosemary what a beauty and how amazing she is in the garden during the winter.
    You can be proud to give her the place she needs to grow out as a large shrub.
    Have a great evening

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    1. Dear Marijke - Three years ago in our first bad winter for a long time she took a hard knock and then bounced back. The next winter we really thought that she was lost, and were about to start digging her up when we noticed small green shoots. Luckily she had an easy ride last winter with it being so mild, and this summer she could not stop flowering.

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  7. Dear Rosemary,
    I am elated... I know both of these plants. I have two bottle brush trees in the garden in front of Rose cottage..
    I also know them from our garden in Australia. I love them, they are very hardy trees. I do know that they can grow in England. Maybe as you replied to Mark.. could it be due to the global warming! but they are very hardy, and it gets cold in Australia too! The lily davidii, i know as tiger lilies.. were one of my mothers favorite plants.. she had pots and pots of them.
    Absolutely great stunning macro photos..are amazing..
    val

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    1. I am so pleased Val that I have shown some plants that you can readily identify. Yes, the bottle brush is Australian and they do like it very warm that is why it is surprising that they survive in our garden during the winter months, but it does and I am grateful.
      My new orange lily does have the common name of tiger lily, glad you knew that too, your mother had good taste.

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  8. What stunning macros of both flowers Rosemary.

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    1. Thank you and so pleased that you enjoyed seeing them.

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  9. Dear Rosemary,
    Stunning shots of the beautiful flowers!
    I especially love the Bottlebrush.
    I'm so glad to read that the wound is healing very well.
    Mette

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    1. The Bottle Brush is a strange plant, I suspect because it is not too familiar to us.
      Yes, we are pleased that the wound is making good progress and thank you.

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  10. Having specimens that do not require winter housing is always a win for me. The bottle brush shots are amazing Rosemary. We had numerous lilies such as yours when we moved into our yellow house and were pleased by their beauty. I enjoyed yours and Mark's conversation above(**

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    1. It is surprising, Olive, that the Bottle Brush keeps surviving in our garden, as it is an Australian plant where it enjoys temperate winters.
      Glad that you enjoyed Mark's repartee with me - he may be back for more!!!

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  11. Now that is some sexy flower power Rosemary. I am green with envy that you can produce such exotic blossoms on your Callistemon Citrinus. There is a lovely nursery somewhere on these Isles that I have visited in the past with a beautiful collection of Callistemon...perhaps The Walled Garden, I cannot recall exactly but well worth the hunt.

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    1. Dear Paul - if I can grow it then I am quite sure that you could too. I have mine in a corner with a wall on two sides so fairly sheltered and another wall on the third side but a distance away. Give it a try, I think that mine just came from a regular nursery as far as I can remember, you can also purchase online.

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  12. Strange and beautiful and sensational photographs, Rosemary. Your artistic eye always picks the detail (i.e., in your roundel) that is the most stunning combination of colors and design.

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    1. Gina - you are so kind. Nobody can match your exquisite flower photographs, they always remind me of a Dutch Still Life painting.

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    1. Thanks Kate - this is one of the new lilies that I ordered last winter.

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  14. Two unique flowers, we don't have that in Belgium.

    Greetings,
    Filip

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    1. You may have it in conservatories and glass houses that is its usual habitat in northern Europe.

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  15. I have seen this tree flower blooming twice in late June to July. It’s so rare that I don’t know its Japanese name, but “bottlebrush” is perfectly fitting name. I searched the images on the Net and found none are better than yours. In fact, Rosemary, your photos made my image of bottlebrush changed. How luminous, how beautiful!

    Yoko

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    1. Dear Yoko - what a very generous and kind remark - thank you very much. It is a very strange plant and I am happy that it thrives in our garden.

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  16. Amazing the Callistemon has survived outside for 15 years Rosemary, wonderful scenes! Your Lilium davidii are looking fantastic.

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    1. I hope it will continue to survive for many years to come. People do remark that they are surprised to see it outside, and also how big it is.
      I am loving my new Lilium davidii, such a vibrant colour and pretty shape as it forms its turkish cap.

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