Waxflower – Chamelaucium uncinatum

Common Name: Waxflower, Geraldton Wax-flower

Botanical Name: Chamelaucium uncinatum, cham-e-LAW-see-um un-si-NAY-tum

Decorative Life: Mostly 5-9 days but varies greatly depending on species and cultivar. For example, Faragher et al. (2000) report that 'Newmarracarra' had a 5 day vaselife while 'Mullering Brook' lasted 12 days in the same experiment.

Flower Color: , ,

Availability:

Harvest Instructions:

Low nitrogen fertilization during production results in poor leaf color and contributes to leaf fall during transit while optimum nitrogen levels can increase vaselife. Depending on species and cultivar, harvest when 25-80% of the flowers are open.

Family Roots:
  • Member of the Myrtaceae (myrtle) family.
  • Native to Australia.
  • Related species include Eucalyptus, bottlebrush and Leptospermum.
Personality:
  • Flowers 1/2 inch across, occur along stems with needle-like leaves.
  • Stems 24-36 inches long.
  • Plant is a woody shrub, classed as a dicotyledon, leaves not parallel veined.
  • Flowers are not fragrant.
Storage Specifics:

At 32-34 F, up to 2 weeks, treat with fungicide to prevent Botrytis. The presence of Botrytis during transport can greatly accelerate premature flower fall.

Tidbits:
  • Chamelaucium: Greek for dwarf and white.
  • The specific epithet name “uncinatum” means hooked at the point.
  • Often grown in Australia and shipped to the US floral industry. Excellent filler for bouquets.
  • 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.
  • Water stress symptoms often appear on leaves before flowers.
Recent Research Findings:

Australia is a major exporter of waxflower and therefore has to meet insect quarantine standards of the importing countries. To meet these standards, Seaton and Joyce (1996) tested 13 insecticide dips and measured their effects on phytotoxicity and flower life. Depending on cultivar and insecticide, vaselife was reduced from 0-49%. Care must therefore be taken before wholesale insecticide treatment of this species is implemented.

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