Photo by Melody

PlantFiles: Weeping Bottle Brush
Callistemon viminalis

Family: Myrtaceae (mir-TAY-see-ee) (Info)
Genus: Callistemon (kal-lis-STEE-mon) (Info)
Species: viminalis (vim-in-AY-liss) (Info)

One vendor has this plant for sale.

7 members have or want this plant for trade.


15-20 ft. (4.7-6 m)
20-30 ft. (6-9 m)

12-15 ft. (3.6-4.7 m)
15-20 ft. (4.7-6 m)

USDA Zone 9a: to -6.6 C (20 F)
USDA Zone 9b: to -3.8 C (25 F)
USDA Zone 10a: to -1.1 C (30 F)
USDA Zone 10b: to 1.7 C (35 F)
USDA Zone 11: above 4.5 C (40 F)

Sun Exposure:
Full Sun

Parts of plant are poisonous if ingested
Pollen may cause allergic reaction

Bloom Color:

Bloom Time:
Mid Spring


Other details:
Drought-tolerant; suitable for xeriscaping

Soil pH requirements:
6.1 to 6.5 (mildly acidic)
6.6 to 7.5 (neutral)
7.6 to 7.8 (mildly alkaline)

Patent Information:

Propagation Methods:
From woody stem cuttings
From softwood cuttings
From semi-hardwood cuttings
From seed; direct sow outdoors in fall

Seed Collecting:
Allow pods to dry on plant; break open to collect seeds

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There are a total of 24 photos.
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8 positives
3 neutrals
No negatives

Gardeners' Notes:

Positive thistledome On Jun 26, 2013, thistledome from near Brisbane
Australia wrote:

I am lucky enough to have 40+ weeping bottle brush in my garden. This type, along with other varieties, has those which flower early in life and those who don't. My advice is to be patient, trim in early spring and fertilise (bottle brush will tolerate normal fertiliser and don't need a low phosphorous one). Your patience will be rewarded with a wonderful display of colour. If they get to an unruly stage, these trees can be pruned hard to about half and still come back

Neutral LeeGreen On Apr 9, 2013, LeeGreen from Lillian, AL wrote:

I fell in love with a 60 foot weeping bottle brush tree here in Southern Alabama. I found a nursery that had three of them. I bought one and my neighbor bought two. One of hers is sporting lovely red bristles, but her other one, and the one that I bought are healthy, weeping shaped, but no bristles. Is this a male/female thing? Sure would appreciate hearing from anyone who knows why.

Positive yomo33046 On Jul 19, 2011, yomo33046 from Big Pine Key, FL wrote:

Although this beautiful tree is wind fragile, I have found that thinning out the canopy at the beginning of the Hurricane season helps the tree survive the Florida Keys. My tree was planted in 2006 and is the talk of the neighborhood when in bloom.

Positive Lily_love On Jan 1, 2008, Lily_love from Central, AL (Zone 7b) wrote:

The cultivar Cascade, and the upright form of bottlebrushes are surprisingly hardy here in my zone. Cascade bloomed 3 flushes of blooms this past summer. These are sitting on a half whiskey barrels to boot. Very hardy. Thirsty plants, and love full sun with regular feeding.

Positive bob48burg On Jan 9, 2007, bob48burg from Powell, OH (Zone 5b) wrote:

I have 5 pot-grown specimens here in Powell, Ohio, USA (AHS Zone 5!). They spend the winter months under a 400 watt halogen light in my basement. Spring/fall is a sometimes daily trip to/from my garage and the outside, depending on forecasted low temperatures. Planted from seed in 1988, they have been pruned--including the roots--and repotted numerous times One blooms generously, three to a lesser degree, but one is a dud. Familiar with this plant from visits to my California inlaws. While they usually bloom for me in winter, it is a special treat and worth the effort to see Ruby-throated Hummingbirds visit them in May.

Positive aliceh On Oct 2, 2006, aliceh from sydney
Australia (Zone 9a) wrote:

These trees grow wild in my area (sydney australia). had two uncared for 30yr plus trees, growing directly in grass. they can get scragly with lots of dead wood and poor flowering without basic maintenance.

A good yearly prunning after flowering and fertilising with low phosperous fertiliser made the world of difference and after only two years of the above treatment the trees are now starting to flourish and are covered with flowers and the trees are covered in lorrikeets and other colourful nectar eaters.

The great thing about this tree is that you could basically cut it in half and new growth would start sprouting from that point.

Positive pokerboy On Jan 26, 2005, pokerboy from Canberra
Australia (Zone 8b) wrote:

A wonderful Australian native that is drought tolerant once established. Its red, nectar rich blooms attract native birds, butterflies and bees. A wonderful tree. pokerboy.

Neutral NativePlantFan9 On Jan 11, 2005, NativePlantFan9 from Boca Raton, FL (Zone 10a) wrote:

These beautiful but non-native introduced trees (valuable and widely planted for shade and as an ornamental) that is native to Australia is widely planted in the southern U.S. in southern California and much of central and southern Florida. They also grow in Hawaii. They are hardy from zone 9a through 11. They are great as an ornamental tree and have a graceful, weeping form, attractive leaves and attractive flowers. However, they may be mildly invasive and are not good wind-resistant trees. Branches break quite easily in storms, and these trees do not do well to survive hurricanes at all. They easily topple over in those storms. If you live in central and southern Florida or in the Keys or other areas with storms, it may be something to remember. These trees are rather cold-hardy for something subtropical or tropical in nature and can withstand even mild and maybe moderate freezes up to zone 9a, maybe to zone 8b on occasion.

Neutral carltipp On Jul 25, 2004, carltipp from Phoenix, AZ wrote:

These trees were planted in many new home yards from the '20s to '40s.
In my part of Phoenix, Yaple Park, the one in my front yard is 60' high. (It would be taller, but the previous owner had the tree topped after part of it fell on the house during a wind storm some years back). My neighbors across the street has one that is closer to 70'. But it is litterly inches from from their house.
It is a lovely tree. However, it is very brittle and looses a lot of limbs/twigs during our many summer wind storms. It also must be tended too religiously. The weeping limbs grow quickly and before you know it, you have a huge limb hovering over your house or slapping you in the face as you try to work around it.
When I bought the house, mine was suffering from neglect, poor fertilizing habits and bad tree trimmings (I should say butcherings!). I have had to remove about 1/3 of the mass of the tree over the last 5 years due to some kind of insect infestation (luckily, it was contained to one of the three rather large limbs of the tree).
All in all, the tree gives that lovely, weeping willow affect. Just don't plant it too close to your house, or anything else you wouldn't mind loosing if a limb should decide it would be happier closer to earth.

Positive angelam On Apr 10, 2004, angelam from melbourne
Australia wrote:

This is a riverbank plant and can take quite wet soils as well as prolonged dry periods. It is spectacular in flower and drips nectar so birds and insects love it. It is better to take a cutting from a good flowering plant than grow from seed as they are very variable.

A lot of people don't like the look of the branches as they age, as the branch lengthens from the end of the flower and the little seed pods can be retained on a patch of bare branch for many years.A branch can then end up with many such patches along its length. If this is an issue for you, dead head ruthlessly after flowering.

It makes a great street tree, as it has a compact shape and it will take any amount of brutal and careless pruning and come back and recover a good shape in a surprisingly short period.

Positive palmbob On Apr 1, 2004, palmbob from Acton, CA (Zone 8b) wrote:

TAll, weeping trees with bright red bottle-brush flowers in spring and summer. Are a number of cultivars which seem to differ only in height of tree and slight variation in length/ size of flowers. Hardy, drought tolerant trees with extremely hard wood (had to cut one down once- THAT was tough!). Bark always peeling in small strips. Flowers tend to be sticky.


This plant has been said to grow in the following regions:

Lillian, Alabama
Vincent, Alabama
Goodyear, Arizona
Phoenix, Arizona (2 reports)
Seal Beach, California
Bartow, Florida
Beverly Hills, Florida
Big Pine Key, Florida (2 reports)
Boca Raton, Florida
Daytona Beach, Florida
Jacksonville, Florida
Jupiter, Florida
Keystone Heights, Florida
Kissimmee, Florida
Ocoee, Florida
Odessa, Florida
Punta Gorda, Florida (2 reports)
Winter Springs, Florida
Metairie, Louisiana
Powell, Ohio
Cabo Rojo, Puerto Rico
Beaufort, South Carolina
Bluffton, South Carolina
Hardeeville, South Carolina
Hilton Head Island, South Carolina
Islandton, South Carolina
Saint Helena Island, South Carolina
Austin, Texas
Brownsville, Texas
San Antonio, Texas
Snook, Texas

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