Violet Kunzea

Description

Common names

Violet Kunzea, Crimson Kunzea, Small-leaved Kunzea.

Scientific names

Kunzea parvifolia.

Family

Myrtaceae.

Genus

Kunzea.

Name origin

Kunzea, after Dr Gustav Kunze (1793-1851), professor of medicine and botany, Leipzig. Parvifolia, from Latin parvus, small, and foli, leaf, referring to small leaves.

Rainfall

400mm.

Growth height

Up to 1.5m.

Presence in Australia

Noted east of the Hume Highway in the areas Yarra Yarra; Four Mile; Lunts-Sugarloaf; Coppabella; Ournie; Tooma; Ardenside-Welaregang; Carabost and Gilmore "Lower Reaches".

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

Habitat

Heath and dry sclerophyll forest.

Habit

Erect shrub to 1.5m high with slender wiry reddish branches and small leaves mostly 1-3.5 mm long. Forms thickets similar to tea-tree scrub.

Site preference

Rocky slopes, especially near seepage areas.

Characteristics

Very hardy.

Flowering

Pink to purple (rarely white), spring-early summer.

Seed collection

Early Jan - late May. Monitor closely as seeds shed 3-14 days after maturity.

Propagation

From seed, sown early autumn, or cuttings about 10cm long in Jan. Rooting hormones should enhance strike rate. Most Kunzeas germinate readily in 3-5 weeks. Surface sow or cover lightly. Capillary watering may be beneficial.

Shade and shelter

Useful low-level cover in windbreaks.

Land protection

Stabilises soil.

Wildlife

Good habitat. Foliage excellent refuge for small birds. Flowers are a nectar source for honeyeaters and other native birds.

Ornamental

Attractive when flowering. Regular pruning beneficial.