Herb: Crimson Bottlebrush

Latin name: Callistemon citrinus

Synonyms: Callistemon lanceolatus, Callistemum citrinus

Family: Myrtaceae (Myrtle Family)

Edible parts of Crimson Bottlebrush:

The leaves are a tea substitute and have a delightfully refreshing flavour.

Description of the plant:


4.5 m
(15 feet)

July to


Habitat of the herb:

Swamps and along the sides of rocky streams.

Other uses of Crimson Bottlebrush:

A tan dye is obtained from the flowers, it does not require a mordant, and is green when mordanted. Other members of this genus can also be used. A cinnamon dye is obtained from the leaves. Other members of this genus can also be used. Wood - hard, heavy, tough, close grained, but too small for economic use. Used for tool handles etc. It is also used for fuel.

Propagation of the herb:

Seed - surface sow in February in a shaded part of the greenhouse. Cover with paper and stand the pots in a few centimetres of water until germination takes place. Remove from the water tray as soon as the seed germinates. Seedlings are prone to damp off and must be watered with care and kept well ventilated. When large enough to handle, prick the seedlings out into individual pots and grow them on in the greenhouse for at least their first winter, planting them out into their permanent positions in late spring or early summer, after the last expected frosts. Cuttings of half-ripe wood,7 - 10cm with a heel, July/August in a frame. Poor results.

Cultivation of Crimson Bottlebrush:

Swamps and along the sides of rocky streams.

Medicinal use of the herb:

None known

Known hazards of Callistemon citrinus:

None known

Plant information taken from the Plants For A Future.