Callistemon brachyandrus
prickly bottlebrush

Myrtaceae (Myrtle family)
Southeast Australia
Callistemon brachyandrus. John Rawlings

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.

· Callistemon and Melaleuca: Key to Species

Illustrations: branchlet 6/20/05 Stanford Greenbelt

Name derivation: Callistemon – Greek kallistos, most beautiful, and stemon, a stamen, in reference to the characteristic long, showy stamens; brachyandrus – short anthers

About this Entry: The main text of this entry is from the book Trees of Stanford and Environs, by Ronald Bracewell, published 2005.