River Tea-tree

Description

Common names

River Tea-tree, Blunt-leaf Tea-tree, Creek Tea-tree, River Teatree.

Scientific names

Leptospermum obovatum.

Family

Myrtaceae.

Genus

Leptospermum.

Name origin

Leptospermum, from Greek leptos, slender, and sperma, seed, referring to narrow seed of some species. Obovatum, from Latin obovatus, referring to obovate (broadest beyond middle) leaves.

Rainfall

600mm.

Growth height

Up to 2m.

Presence in Australia

Noted in the areas Deadman"s-Bungowannah-Long Flat; Munderoo; Tooma; Lower Tooma-Greg Greg; Bringenbrong-Khancoban; Greenhills-Upper Tarcutta and Upper Adelong-Upper Yaven. Possibly also in areas surrounding those noted.

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

Habitat

Swampy places, or among granite or sandstone rocks along swiftly flowing streams.

Habit

Upright, erect, dense green shrub to over 2m high. Smooth firm bark and aromatic leaves 5-20 mm long.

Site preference

Moist soils. Tolerates inundation, most frost and dry periods.

Characteristics

Very hardy.

Flowering

White, Nov-Jan.

Seed collection

Any time. Seeds retained on plants for many years, and shed after adversity such as injury, drought or fire. Collect capsules from older wood. Seeds highly viable, remaining so for many years in storage.

Propagation

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

Regeneration

From seed dispersed by insects, including ants.

Shade and shelter

Useful low-level cover in windbreaks.

Land protection

Excellent for controlling streambank and gully erosion due to soil-binding fibrous roots.

Wildlife

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

Ornamental

Attractive. Prune regularly to encourage bushiness.

Other

Used in colonial medicine.