Peach Blossom Teatree
Leptospermum squarrosum is an upright shrub, varying in height from 1-3m and is native to sandstone areas of the coast and adjacent Plateaus of mid-New South Wales.
It has proved to be an extremely hardy shrub, tolerant of both well-drained and damp conditions, and is thus recommended for new gardens or exposed positions. lt makes an excellent informal hedge or windbreak and is salt-resistant.
Leaves are stiff, triangular and sharply pointed, being held alternatively and at right angles to the stem, hence its specific name. The flowers have five petals, mostly a delicate shade of *pink, paling to white on the outer rim and base. Pure white and much deeper pink forms do exist. Flowers are 16 mm in diameter (about the size of a 5c coin) and give the plant its common name of Peach Blossom Teatree. Flowering begins in autumn and persists through winter, sometimes even into spring. Its colour can therefore be appreciated when little else is flowering in the garden.
For best flowering results, L. squarrosum should be planted in full sun, with good drainage, and watered well during dry spells. As flowering occurs on two to three-year-old wood pruning will be at the expense of future seasons' flowers. Normally pruning will not be necessary, because of the dense habit of this species.
Propagation by tip cuttings should be done in early autumn before frost tips the new growth. Hormone treatment will assist the cutting's ability to produce roots and is strongly recommended. Powdered hormones can be readily obtained commercially.
For propagation by seed, select older seed capsules from low down on the stems and store in a warm place in a paper bag until the seed is released. Sow the seed in spring and prick the seedling out when it is large enough to handle.
Pests are few but web-building caterpillars have been noted and may be controlled with Carbaryl (Sevin) if the infection is bad. Follow manufacturer's instructions.
*RHS Colour Chart 1966: Petals, red-purple group 73A paling on outer rim and towards base to red-purple group 62D.
Name meaning: Leptospermum squarrosum
Leptospermum from the Greek, lepto, meaning slender, and sperma, seed;
squarrosum from the Latin meaning rough with scale or tips of bracts projecting outwards. usually at about 90°.