Common Fringe-myrtle

Description

Common names

Common Fringe-myrtle, Fringe-myrtle, White Fringe-myrtle, Fringe Myrtle, Grampians Fringe-myrtle, Heath Myrtle, White Fringe Myrtle.

Scientific names

Calytrix tetragona.

Family

Myrtaceae.

Genus

Calytrix.

Name origin

Calytrix, from Greek kalyx, cup and thrix, hair, referring to divisions of calyx ending in long bristly hairs. Tetragona, from Greek tetra, four, and gonia, angle, referring to leaves (when dried).

Rainfall

400mm.

Growth rate

Moderate.

Growth height

0.5-2m.

Presence in Australia

In most areas across region on rises and hills.

This specie has been identified in the following Australian states: Qld, NSW, ACT, Vic, Tas, SA, WA.

Habitat

Heath, woodland and dry sclerophyll forest on skeletal and sandy soils.

Habit

Bushy shrub 50cm to 2m high. Small aromatic green leaves 1-12 mm long and soft dark bark.

Site preference

Well-drained soils in full sun or semi-shade. Tolerates periodic inundation, frost and extended dry periods.

Characteristics

Moderate growth-rate and longevity. Flammable. Highly variable in flower, leaf and habit.

Flowering

White to pink, all year but chiefly spring.

Seed collection

Late Sep to mid-Mar, when capsules turn bronze and begin to fall.

Propagation

From cuttings 4-5cm long, taken about 3 months after flowering from young growth low down on plant. Use well-drained and aerated mix. Strike in open shade with low humidity rather than on hot bed. Unreliable from seed.

Regeneration

From seed after light fires or when soil is bare.

Shade and shelter

Useful low-level cover in windbreaks.

Land protection

Colonises bare sites.

Wildlife

Flowers are a food source for moths, butterflies and other insects. Foliage good refuge for small birds.

Ornamental

Excellent in parks, gardens, containers, and for screens and rockeries. Particularly attractive when flowering prolifically. Prune lightly after flowering to encourage flowering and promote bushiness. Avoid planting too close to house in fire-prone areas.