Callistemon acuminatus
Common Name: bottlebrush bush 
Type: Broadleaf evergreen
Family: Myrtaceae
Native Range: Australia
Zone: 9 to 11
Height: 3.00 to 10.00 feet
Spread: 4.00 to 7.00 feet
Bloom Time: May to June
Bloom Description: Red
Sun: Full sun
Water: Dry to medium
Maintenance: Low
Suggested Use: Hedge
Flower: Showy
Leaf: Evergreen
Attracts: Birds, Hummingbirds
Other: Winter Interest
Tolerate: Drought


Easily grown in a wide variety of soil types but does best in evenly moist to dry, well-draining soils in full sun. Tolerant of wind, humidity, mild salt spray, heat, and some drought once established. Best flowering in full sun, but will tolerate some light shade. Prune to maintain shape and create a bushier, denser habit after the main flush of blooms. Propagate from seed or stem tip cuttings in spring. Hardy from Zones 9-11.

Noteworthy Characteristics

Callistemon acuminatus, commonly called tapering-leaved bottlebrush, is a medium to large, evergreen shrub endemic to rocky, forested slopes and mountainsides of coastal Queensland and New South Wales in eastern Australia. Mature plants will reach 3-10' tall with a 4-7' spread. The broadly lanceolate, 3-4.5" long and 0.5-0.75" wide foliage has acuminate tips and somewhat undulating margins. The cylindrical, bottlebrush-shaped, 2.25-4" long inflorescences emerge in late spring to early summer with the occasional bloom produced throughout the year. The flowers have bright, crimson red, filamentous stamens and styles that can reach up to 1.25" long. The blooms are attractive to many Australian bird species including honeyeaters, lorikeets, and hummingbirds. The brown to grey, woody seed capsules can persist on the branches for multiple years. Synonymous with Melaleuca flammea.

The genus name Callistemon comes from the Greek words kalli meaning "beautiful" and stemon meaning "stamen" in reference to the showy stamens present on most species in this genus.

The specific epithet acuminatus means "tapering to a narrow point", in reference to the shape of the tips of the leaves of this species.

The common name tapering-leaved bottlebrush refers to the both the shape of the tips of the leaves of this species and the shape of the inflorescences.


No known pest or disease problems of note.


Evergreen hedge, windbreak, or screen. Takes well to pruning. Suitable for mixed borders, informal cottage or courtyard gardens, seaside gardens, or Mediterranean gardens.