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LEPTOSPERMUM scoparium (Manuka)

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Manuka

Other names: New Zealand Tea Tree

Family: Myrtaceae

Characteristics: Shrub 3 m spread 3 m

Seed per packet: 100

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In recent years this Leptospermum has gain notoriety as much for the famous Manuka honey that originates from this plant as it has for its spectacular showy flowers.

A very hardy species that is ttypically an erect shrub with a stiffly branching stem and small aromatic leaves 1 cm long.

White to pink open flowers 1.5 cm across appearing in summer. The seed head sprays are often used in floral work.

The Maori name is Kahikatoa but it is commonly called Tea Tree because early colonists used its aromatic foliage as an alternative to tea. 

Endemic to NSW, Qld, Vic, Tasmania and New Zealand.

Prefers a light moist well-drained soil in an open sunny position, drought and frost resistant.

Although seed can be sown most of the year in Australia seed is generally best sown in spring or autumn in temperate climates, avoid the coldest and hottest months of the year. The optimum germination temperature for germination is around 18-22°C

  1. Sow seed on surface of a porous seed raising mix. The seed will lodge in the the pores of the mix once watered.
  2. Sprinkle a very light covering of the seed raising mix over the seed if required to hold the seed in place. Do not bury seed deeply.
  3. Water with fine mist spray to avoid disturbance of the seed.
  4. Place in a warm shaded or semi shaded position to avoid dying out.
  5. Keep warm & moist, avoid drying out or waterlogging the growing mix.
  6. Germination generally occurs in around 14-28 days in the right condition.

General note: Seeds of many natives are dormant and require specific conditions or pre-treatment for germination.
Do not be too hasty to discard seed that does not germinate, seeds will often lay dormant until the conditions are similar to their natural requirements for germination to occur. Containers put to one side will often surprise long after they were discarded.


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