Callistemon brachyandrus. BOTTLEBRUSH. Southeast Australia
MYRTACEAE (Myrtle family)

A
prickly bottlebrush with 1-inch needle leaves and flower clusters 1 inch in diameter and length around 2½ inches appeared on Serra Street around 1960 just outside the nursery (now occupied by the Recycling Center). As G. W. Leibnitz said about an anonymous item by Isaac Newton, “By its paw shall you know the lion,” so the paw print of Dirk Schroder (former Stanford arborist) is evident. A descendant from seed is on the west side of the Stanford Avenue greenbelt about 40 yards northeast of the intersection of the Stanford and Santa Fe Avenues bike paths. It is inadvisable to brush against this small tree. The attractive brushes are gold tipped, each ¼ -inch scarlet stamen displaying its own golden anther. The closed seed capsules remain queued on the branches, so that their age can be counted in years. At any time, however, abundant seed can be collected by putting a branchlet into a paper bag for a week.

Illustrations (links open new windows): branchlet 6/20/05 Stanford Greenbelt

Additions/Revisions:

Callistemon and Melaleuca: Key to Species

Leaves simple; branches passing through compact cylindrical or spherical clusters of sessile capsules and continuing as foliage shoots (illustration)

Stamens united at their bases into 5 groups opposite the petals.................Melaleuca
Stamens not united..................................................................................Callistemon:

Leaves needle like, about 1-inch long; flower clusters rose-pink, anthers yellow.........C. brachyandrus
Leaves leaf-like with a prominent midrib; flower clusters bright red:

Lateral veins of leaves distinct; capsules contracted at summit...1. C. citrinus
Lateral veins of leaves somewhat obscure; capsules not contracted at summit...2. C. viminalis

Name derivation, genus | species: from the Gk kallistos, most beautiful, and stemon, a stamen, in reference to the characteristic long, showy stamens | short anthers

Related material:

Botanical name index | Common name index | Family
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