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Calothamnus villosus

Calothamnus villosus

I've reason to start another series on Australian plants, and the why of that will be revealed later this week.

The Australian Garden at the Huntington Botanical Garden in San Marino, California isn't as impressive as the Desert Garden, but that's merely a statement of how exceptional the Desert Garden is. Still, it was memorable. I took this photograph in the company of a dozen of my closest friends. After all, who but your closest friends will serenade you with a chorus of hums? I must admit, though, that I suspect the hummingbirds would've done the same for anyone near this silky net-bush.

Calothamnus, as noted by the Flora of Western Australia, means “beautiful shrub”. Villosus means “covered with soft hairs”, and this is apparent if you take a close look at the needle-like leaves in the upper left. In floristry, the branches are used as cut foliage.

If you followed the link to the Flora of Western Australia, you'll note that the genus Calothamnus is distributed throughout Western Australia, but concentrated in the southwest. Calothamnus villosus, however, is restricted to a narrow band along the southern coast of the state.

One last link: Calothamnus villosus as drawn by George Loddiges in 1817.


There are simple reasons for the distribution. In Western Australia, the south-west gets the winter rains, the north the summer rains and elsewhere not much rain at all, divides the state neatly into 3 regions.

Beautiful tree & flowers, wonderful photograph, thanks! Are they monoecious?

Sorry, just read the link 'Flora of Western Australia' & it explains that the flowers are hermaphrodite, so answering my question!

Calothamnus villosus - Z9 - RHS Index of Garden Plants, Griffiths


Hello Joe - it is growing in California (see the written accompaniment). No, it's not a conifer, though if you only saw the foliage, you might mistake it for such. The flowers, however, confirm that it is otherwise.

This has the look of a bottle brush.

Yes, very similar looking to bottle brush. In fact, another common name is “one-sided bottle brush”

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