Melaleuca citrina

Melaleuca citrina (Curtis) Dum. Cours.

Family : Myrtaceae 

Common Name : ബോട്ടിൽ ബ്രഷ്  (Mal)

  चील (Hin)

  Bottle Brush(Eng)

IUCN Status : Least concern (LC)

Trees, to 10 m high, bark dark brown, vertically striated; branches drooping; young shoots silky tomentose. Leaves simple, alternate, crowded towards the tip of branchlets, 3-7 x 0.4-1 cm, elliptic-lanceolate or lanceolate, base acute or cuneate, apex acute, margin ciliate, when young, glabrous when mature, glandular punctate; lateral nerves faint; petiole 2-4 mm long, flattened, villous when young. Flowers 2-2.5 cm long, red, in terminal spikes. Calyx 4-5 mm long, adnate to ovary, pubescent; lobes 5, margin ciliate. Petals 5, 4-6 x 4 mm, greenish, concave, obtuse, glandular. Stamens many, connate at base, up to 2 cm long; filaments red, exserted; anthers very small. Ovary inferior, 3-celled; ovules many; style terminal, red, up to 2 cm long; stigma simple. Fruiting calyx not much enlarged. 

The flower spikes of bottlebrushes form in spring and summer and are made up of a number of individual flowers. The pollen of the flower forms on the tip of a long coloured stalk called a filament. It is these filaments which give the flower spike its colour and distinctive 'bottlebrush' shape. The filaments are usually yellow or red, sometimes the pollen also adds a bright yellow flush to the flower spikes. Each flower produces a small woody fruit containing hundreds of tiny seeds. These fruits form in clusters along the stem, and are usually held on the plant for many years. The seeds are usually not released from the fruits for several years, but in some species the fruits open after about a year. Fire also stimulates the opening of the fruits in some bottlebrushes. 

Uses: It is an Exotic and a Garden plant

Distribution : Native in East Australia; widely grown as ornamental tree 

Flowering & Fruiting : Throughout the year