Willow Myrtle

Willow Myrtle is an Australian plant, originating on the sand plains of Western Australia , that has found a niche in south-eastern Australia . It grows into a round-headed tree with distinctive weeping branches, well-clothed in linear olive green leaves.

In late spring, tiny 5-petalled, white flowers emerge and cover the branches, appearing at the leaf axils. These flowers are quite fragrant, and hold on the tree for up to 6 weeks. The bark of the tree is smooth when young, but becomes deeply furrowed and very dark brown with age.

Although A. flexuosa originates on the heathlands and coastal dunes, it has proven itself tolerant of most soil types in Victoria , given free drainage. It grows best in full sun, growing up to 900mm each year when irrigated. In most soils, fortnightly irrigation will be adequate. Also, A. flexuosa is tolerant of high pH soils, as it grows natively on limestone heaths.

A. flexuosa can be pruned with care to retain its ideal shape, and will be able to be grown under many power lines. Also, because of its many tolerances, it is ideal for all coastal and near-coastal sites.

A. flexuosa ‘Jervis Bay After Dark’

A red- foliaged selection identified in southern New South Wales . This selection grows with an open canopy, and probably will not exceed 10m when grown on urban sites. We believe that this plant is the best-available red-leafed small tree, and is a good replacement for the tatty red-leafed Plums aging in many Australian suburbs. This plant is protected by Plant Breeders’ Rights.

Reference:

Marchant et al. 1987 Flora of the Perth region. The Western Australia Department of Agriculture, Perth WA.

Typical mature height:

to 12m

Useful in:

streetscapes

Sites for best growth:

sandy, poor soils

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