Slender Tea-tree

Description

Common names

Slender Tea-tree, Grey Tea-tree, Slender Tea Tree, Slender Teatree.

Scientific names

Leptospermum brevipes.

Family

Myrtaceae.

Genus

Leptospermum.

Name origin

Leptospermum, from Greek leptos, slender, and sperma, seed, referring to narrow seeds of some species. Brevipes, from Latin brevis, short, referring to stalks.

Rainfall

400mm+.

Growth rate

Fast.

Growth height

Up to 4m.

Presence in Australia

Noted in the upper Murray areas Paddy"s River-Burra Valley; Tooma; Lower Tooma-Greg Greg and Bringenbrong-Khancoban.

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

Habitat

Dry sclerophyll forest, woodland and shrubland, mostly on rocky granite outcrops.

Habit

Shrub or small tree to 4m high with smooth bark, reddish drooping branchlets and leaves mostly 1-2cm long.

Site preference

Poor soils near streams. Sensitive to heavy frost when young. Tolerates limited periods of dryness.

Characteristics

Hardy and fast-growing. Invasive in some areas and where stocking rates low.

Flowering

White, Oct-Dec.

Seed collection

Throughout year as seeds generally retained. Seed extremely viable and remain so for many years in storage.

Propagation

From seed or cuttings, which strike readily. Sow light scattering of seeds and cover lightly. Germinates in 2-5 weeks. Capillary watering should benefit seed. Suitable for direct seeding into pots.

Regeneration

From seed. Regenerates quickly.

Shade and shelter

Excellent low-level cover in windbreaks.

Land protection

Useful in controlling streambank erosion due to soil-binding fibrous roots.

Wildlife

Excellent streamside habitat. Shade and insect source for fish. Flowers are a good pollen source for many insects, including moths and butterflies, and nectar source for birds.

Ornamental

Attractive ornamental for gardens, due to young reddish foliage and graceful habit. Prune to encourage bushiness.

Other

Cut foliage decorative and dries well. Leaves and young shoots reputedly useful in treating urinary complaints in colonial medicine.