Saturday, June 23, 2012

Callistemon salignus 'Great Balls of Fire'

Red new growth on Callistemon 'Great Balls of Fire' with silver Westringea 'Smokie'
The parent plant Callistemon salignus is a fairly ordinary native tree which is very much prone to sooty mould after being infested with scale insects as well as producing insignificant flowers. 
This low growing cultivar which has been on the garden scene for a few years now is proving to be terrific plant for use as a low hedge or good solid rounded shrub to 1.5 metres. It produces continual flushes of new pinky red leaves throughout the year and benefits from a bit of shearing to keep it looking good. It grows well across a range of climates and is versatile enough to do the cross-over thing of mixing well with native plants and exotics. I have not come across any advanced nursery specimens so you may have to start with a small pot plant. Given a good start with some fertilizer or soil improvement it is quick to establish however and growth is fairly rapid if given supplementary irrigation.