A small, evergreen, shrubby tree native to Australia, the bottlebrush tree (Callistemon citrinus) is widely grown in Florida and Southern California. In spring, the tree is covered in red flowers that resemble—you guessed it—bottle brushes.
A multi-stemmed tree, the bottlebrush tree grows to a height of 10 to 15 feet, with a similar spread. The crown is rounded on upright stems.
Bottlebrush trees prefer well-drained, sandy soil, but they will grow in clay or loam. Once established, bottlebrush trees are drought and salt tolerant.
Bottlebrush trees grow best in full sun, but they will tolerate light shade.
Flowers appear in spring and repeat in summer. Hummingbirds are attracted to the red, showy flowers.
A bottlebrush tree can be grown from seed. Capture seeds in a shallow box and store them until spring. Sew directly on the soil and do not cover.
In Zones 9 through 11, the bottlebrush tree is a useful landscaping plant. It is adaptable, neat and does not produce disruptive roots.