Lemon Bottlebrush, Crimson Bottlebrush

Callistemon citrinus

Family: Myrtaceae (mir-TAY-see-ee) (Info)
Genus: Callistemon (kal-lis-STEE-mon) (Info)
Species: citrinus (sit-REE-nus) (Info)
Synonym:Callistemon laevis
Synonym:Melaleuca citrina
Synonym:Metrosideros citrina



Foliage Color:

Unknown - Tell us

Bloom Characteristics:

This plant is attractive to bees, butterflies and/or birds

Flowers are fragrant

Water Requirements:

Average Water Needs; Water regularly; do not overwater

Where to Grow:

Unknown - Tell us


8-10 ft. (2.4-3 m)


8-10 ft. (2.4-3 m)


USDA Zone 8a: to -12.2 C (10 F)

USDA Zone 8b: to -9.4 C (15 F)

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)

Sun Exposure:

Full Sun



Bloom Color:


Bloom Time:

Mid Spring

Late Spring/Early Summer

Mid Summer




Other details:

Unknown - Tell us

Soil pH requirements:

5.6 to 6.0 (acidic)

6.1 to 6.5 (mildly acidic)

6.6 to 7.5 (neutral)

Patent Information:


Propagation Methods:

From semi-hardwood cuttings

Seed Collecting:

Bag seedheads to capture ripening seed

Collect seedhead/pod when flowers fade; allow to dry

Properly cleaned, seed can be successfully stored


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


Île De Sein,

Mobile, Alabama

Vincent, Alabama

Queen Creek, Arizona

Chowchilla, California

Fallbrook, California

Long Beach, California

Manteca, California

Mission Viejo, California

North Auburn, California

Redondo Beach, California

Sacramento, California

San Jose, California

San Leandro, California

Deltona, Florida

Homosassa, Florida (2 reports)

Keystone Heights, Florida

Oldsmar, Florida

Pensacola, Florida

Port Charlotte, Florida

Punta Gorda, Florida

Ruskin, Florida

Saint Petersburg, Florida

Umatilla, Florida

Venice, Florida

Yulee, Florida

Hazlehurst, Georgia

Winterville, Georgia

Kurtistown, Hawaii

Lake Charles, Louisiana

Monroe, Louisiana

Pahrump, Nevada

Dallas, Oregon

Caguas, Puerto Rico

Beaufort, South Carolina

Bluffton, South Carolina

Conway, South Carolina

Lexington, South Carolina (2 reports)

Saint Helena Island, South Carolina

Murfreesboro, Tennessee

Austin, Texas

Belton, Texas

Brownsville, Texas

El Paso, Texas (2 reports)

Houston, Texas (2 reports)

Liberty Hill, Texas

Nome, Texas

Round Rock, Texas

Santa Fe, Texas

Spring, Texas

Timpson, Texas

Seattle, Washington

White Center, Washington

show all

Gardeners' Notes:


On Mar 2, 2012, cinemike from CREZIERES,
France (Zone 8a) wrote:

This very attractive shrub is surprisingly hardy.
It (with some damage) survived the winter of 2010/11 in Belfast Northern Ireland which was the coldest on record with temperatures plummeting to -16 C and staying firmly below zero for about two weeks. Tolerates poor (acid) soil as well.


On Oct 30, 2009, donnacreation from Sumter, SC (Zone 8a) wrote:

The only BB cold hardy in zone 8a is Woodlander's Red. Citrinus will die all the way to the roots if exposed to temps below 15f. Pay no attention to the plant tag info - it's not accurate. I've lost much money on BB that Dave's Garden says is cold hardy in zone 8a.


On Jun 6, 2008, stephenp from Wirral, UK, Zone 9a,
United Kingdom (Zone 9a) wrote:

Beautiful plant, grows especially well here in western UK where it is very hardy. It loves our high humidity as long as it is given good sandy drainage.

I can only say good things about this plant, it is my favourite shrub by a long way.

Edit: following the past above (which is correct), the hardiness issue needs clearing up.

Callistemon citrinus is hardy in leaf to -6C, it will lose its leaves with lower temperatures but come back up to about -9C

It is only hardy to zone 9a. If anyones survived lower than -10C then it is most likely a different type like C. pallidus, C. rigidus, or C.sibieri.

The plants in the photos on tthe right here are C. rigidus!


On Mar 29, 2008, QCHammy from San Tan Valley, AZ (Zone 9a) wrote:

Grows like crazy here in Arizona with only twice weekly irrigation in the hottest part of summer. Other times requires very little supplemental irrigation. Extremely drought tolerant.


On Mar 6, 2008, htop from San Antonio, TX (Zone 8b) wrote:

I have not grown this plant. Lemon Bottlebrush, Crimson Bottlebrush (Callistemon citrinus) is an introduced plant that has naturalized in Louisiana and Puerto Rico.


On Oct 26, 2006, dstrick7 from Winterville, GA wrote:

I have one (maybe 2...one never was labeled) of these - nice shrub!...especially since we can't seem to grow azaleas with any success (though I'm told some of the evergreen varieties are heat-tolerant).


On Oct 27, 2003, mungoj from Murfreesboro, TN wrote:

Grows well in Murfreesboro, Tennessee with protection and a lot of mulch.


On Aug 28, 2002, smiln32 from Oklahoma City, OK (Zone 7a) wrote:

This plant is virtually pest-free and grows with no special care. It can flower off and on throughout the year.


On Sep 2, 2001, eltel from Macclesfield, CHESHIRE (Zone 8a) wrote:

Native to Australia and New Zealand, there are about 25 species of Callistemon, which are closely related to the Melaleucas from the same part of the world. The young shoots of C. citrinus are pink or red and silky. The flower spike (the so-called bottle brush) is like a giant pipe cleaner and bright crimson.

Listed as Zone 9, C. citrinus (aka "Crimson Bottlebrush") will tolerate short periods of down to 10C. C. sieberi is the hardiest of all the species; having been recorded as surviving occasional lows of 17 C.


On Aug 31, 2001, Terry from Murfreesboro, TN (Zone 7a) wrote:

Raising from seed will yield variable results; some will be scented, others will not.

The foliage smells lemony when crushed or bruised. Bright red flowers are very attractive to hummingbirds and butterflies.