Tea Tree

1 entry found.
Tea Tree
Common Name: Pincushion Flower, Leptospermum, Tea Tree
Botanical Name: Leptospermum scoparium and L. spp. (lep-to-SPUR-mum sco-PAR-ee-um)
Decorative Life: From 3-12 days depending on species. L. scoparium is an example of a species with a short vaselife of only a few days.
Post Harvest Care:
  • Should be treated with an anti-ethylene product. Remove bottom leaves if present, recut stems under water and place in a hydration or fresh flower food solution.
  • Very easily water stressed. Responds well to under water cutting. Also responds well to a 4-8% sugar pulse for 4 hours at 72F.
Harvest Instructions: Choose stems when all buds are fully colored and with 30-50% (or as some say, at least 20%) open flowers. Is a short-day plant requiring 10-12 hours or more of darkness to flower depending on temperature.
Family Roots:
  • Member of the Myrtaceae (myrtle family).
  • Native to Australia, New Zealand.
  • Relatives include eucalyptus, Geraldton waxflower and Thryptomene.
  • Has circular, flat flowers, 1/2 inch in diameter, crowded among leaves on upper part of stems.
  • Stems mostly 24-36 inches long.
  • Plant is a woody, evergreen shrub, classed as a dicotyledon.
  • Flowers are not fragrant.
Availability: Winter-spring.
Flower Color: Orange, salmon, pink, red, white.
Storage Specifics: Store at 36-40 F for up to 2 days dry or up to 5 days in water. Store best under high humidity.
  • Scientific name from the Greek words "leptos" (slender) and "sperma" (seed), referring to the narrow seeds. The specific epithet name "scoparium" means broom-like.
  • The crew of Captain Cook's ship drank a tea made from leptospermum leaves to ward off scurvy during long voyages, hence the common name "tea tree".
  • This species is planted outdoors in mild climates or grown in greenhouses. One species (L. laevigatum) is used extensively for the reclamation of moving sands. This family is important economically for many edible fruits including guava, rose-apple, spices such as allspice and cloves, timber (eucalyptus) and many ornamental species.
  • Leptospermum contrasts well with spray roses, stock, peony and other flowers popular for the country look.
  • Useful as a filler or, if stems longer, provides vertical line for contemporary arrangements.