Callistemon speciosus DC.

An erect, open shrub with lance-shaped leaves, to 15cm long, and dense, bottlebrush spikes of deep red flowers, to 15cm long, from spring to autumn.  To 4m.  [RHSE, Hortus, Hilliers’].

Horticultural & Botanical History

‘This is a very splendid flower from the rich colour of the filaments, though the quantity of yellow pollen conceals part of its brilliancy. […] Communicated last May, by Messrs. Loddiges and Sons, in whose nursery alone, out of Kew, we have as yet seen this very rare plant.  It appears as if it would ripen its seed, by which, and by cuttings, it may easily be propagated.  Requires only to be protected from frost.’  [BM t.1761/1815]. 

‘This showy plant is a native of New South Wales; it was introduced about the year 1812.  Its rich and splendid flowers are in perfection at the beginning of summer, retaining their beauty for a long time.  [LBC no.285/1818].

History at Camden Park

Listed in the 1857 catalogue only [T.683/1857].


A less likely identification is Metrosideros florida Sm., synonym Metrosideros speciosus Colenso, from New Zealand, a climber with flaky bark, elliptic-oblong leaves, to 6cm long, and orange-red bottle-brush flowers.  To 10m.  [RHSD].  

Published Jan 17, 2010 - 05:14 PM | Last updated Mar 29, 2010 - 03:41 PM

Figured are the willow-like leaves and bright red bottle-brush flowers.  Curtis's Botanical Magazine t.1761, 1815.

Callistemon speciosus DC. | BM t.1761/1815 | BHL

More details about Callistemon speciosus DC.
Family Myrtaceae
Region of origin

Western Australia


Metrosideros speciosa Sims 

Common Name
Name in the Camden Park Record

Metrosideros speciosus 

Confidence level medium