Interesting Plant: Australian/New Zealand Tea Tree (Leptospermum scoparium)

This is an entirely new plant to me. I discovered it, and took these photos, on an impromptu neighborhood photo walk a few weeks ago and an online commenter identified it for me. I believe this is the ‘Red Damask’ variety. It really caught my eye as I walked past and I am thinking I might want to add one to my garden, although I don’t have a lot of red there at the moment. Perhaps this could start a trend.

Australian Tea Tree (Leptospermum scoparium)

Australian Tea Tree (Leptospermum scoparium)Australian Tea Tree (Leptospermum scoparium)

Leptospermum scoparium, commonly called mānukamanuka myrtle,[1] New Zealand teatree,[1] broom teatree,[1] or just tea tree, is a species of flowering plant in the myrtle family Myrtaceae,native to New Zealand and southeast Australia.

It is a prolific scrub-type tree and is often one of the first species to regenerate on cleared land. It is typically a shrub growing to 2–5 m (7–16 ft) tall, but can grow into a moderately sized tree, up to 15 m (49 ft) or so in height. It is evergreen, with dense branching and small leaves 7–20 mm long and 2–6 mm broad, with a short spine tip. The flowers are white, occasionally pink, 8–15 mm (rarely up to 25 mm) in diameter, with five petals. This species is often confused with the closely related species kānuka – the easiest way to tell the difference between the two species in the field is to feel their foliage – mānuka leaves are prickly, while kānuka leaves are soft.[2] The wood is tough and hard.— Wikipedia

More information on Leptospermum scoparium:


Previously in the Interesting Plant series: 

Interesting Plant is a series from A Gardener’s Notebook blog and podcast that highlights the most interesting plants I find in my Internet and real-world travels — Douglas