Who wouldn’t want a plant whose name means “the fairest of them all”? The genus name Callistemon comes from the Greek words kalli meaning “most beautiful” and stemon meaning “stamen” in reference to the showy, colorful filaments that make the blossom look like a bottlebrush.
Bottlebrush is an evergreen shrub in the myrtle family Myrtaceae and one of those landscaping plants every gardener should have if they live in a hot, dry area with well-draining soil.
Its cone-shaped blossoms come in five feathery colors: red, orange, white, green and yellow. Native to the “Land Down-Under,” this beautiful bush now thrives in warm weather gardens around the globe.
Our dazzling damsel is known for her adaptability; hardiness and natural ability to attract pollinators, many varieties of insects, butterflies and birds.
Bottlebrush is not just pretty, she’s medicinal too as antibacterial, antifungal, known to kill parasites and coagulate blood, also a diuretic, purported to be anticancer and anti-inflammatory. This plant has been used by women as a cleansing douche to treat the genitourinary tract from excessive menstruation or mucosal discharge. Used for bed-wetting in children. In Jamaica, a decoction is taken as “hot tea” to treat gastroenteritis, diarrhea, and skin infections.
Soak blossoms in hot water to release its sweet nectar, the bottlebrush leaves are most commonly used to make a delicious tea.