Aug 042016
 
My Bottlebrush - or Melaleuca Citrina

My Bottlebrush – or Melaleuca Citrina

In a magnificent few days of glorious sun, my crimson Bottlebrush burst into full bloom. 

I’m no great gardener, but I can appreciate beauty when I see it.  And, there is an interesting story to this little plant.  Well, it’s not so little, the bush is about 8 feet tall.  Originally endemic to Australia, it was first taken away from that continent and brought to England in 1770 by Joseph Banks, the great botanist in the time of King George III.  Banks journeyed with Captain Cook on his first great voyage to Brazil, Tahiti, New Zealand and Australia, and was President of the Royal Society for 41 years.  It was he who advised the King on the development of the Royal Botanic Gardens at Kew and turned it into one of the world’s leading botanical gardens, a position which Kew Gardens still  holds to this day.

When the plant flowers, I’m always reminded of my chemistry lessons and experiments at school – using the glass test tubes, and cleaning them afterwards with a brush on a long stalk with spikes coming off them – exactly like the Bottlebrush plant, except they weren’t crimson.

Sadly the bloom doesn’t last very long, merely a couple of weeks, but it’s always rather spectacular when it happens, and is always a pleasure to see.

 

 

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