A genus of about 25 species of shrubs and trees. These are Australian plants and are grown for their curious flowers, which are borne in cylindrical spikes resembling bottlebrushes, hence their name. Each flower is very small but has long stamens, which stick out forming the hairs of the brush. They are mainly red but there are yellow, purple, white and green forms.
In milder areas some can be grown outside. Here they are best positioned against a wall for protection in full sun. Bottlebrushes are good for planting in coastal regions. They need a lime-free soil both in the open garden and in containers. No pruning is necessary except to keep the plant under control if it gets too large.
The leaves are leathery, narrow and not very conspicuous, making the bush a bit dull when it is out of flower. Many are rather lax and without much shape, which further detracts from them when they are not in bloom. However, when bottlebrushes are in flower they can look spectacular. Coming from Australia they can be on the tender side and are usually grown in containers in a conservatory.