Ever read or see the Original Dr. Suess The Lorax? I remember seeing it on t.v. as a kid and loving those Truffula Trees. Well, if there was ever a Truffula Tree in real life, Callistemon citrinus 'Jeffersii', also known as the Crimson Bottlebrush, would be one of my favorites. Callistemon are fast-growing evergreen shrubs from Australia. They are best known for their bottlebrush-like flower spikes. The Callistemon citrinus species are pretty tough customers. They're pretty tolerant when the going gets tough. Heat. Bring it! Cold temps down to about 25 degrees. Bring it! Wet or poor soils. Bring it! But ideally if you want to give them the good life give 'em full sun, regular water, and prune them back seasonally to encourage bushier growth as well as a boomin' abundance of future bottlebrush flower spikes. The hummingbirds will thank you!
My absolute favorite Callistemon is Callistemon citrinus 'Jeffersii'. It grows up to 6 feet tall and wide if you let it. It doesn't mind being kept shorter. It looks great as a specimen shrub, a pruned up small tree, and as a hedge. And the flower spikes. Shut the front door! They are so cool. Now most Callistemon citrinus have brick red flowers. They're pretty common. But not, Callistemon citrinus 'Jeffersii', its got out of the ordinary reddish purple spikes of super saucy seductiveness! Now, as you might have figured out, I'm a sucker for the freaks of the flower world. The ones that don't fit the norm. This reddish purple is not often seen which makes it all the more alluring and unusual.
Added bonus...the flower spikes make for cool cut flowers. So forget that conservative color and get all punk rock. Believe me, it'll be liberatingly beautiful. And when the neighbors say there goes the neighborhood tell 'em, nope, here it comes!