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Leptospermum scoparium ‘Ruby Glow’
Leptospermum scoparium ‘Ruby Glow’

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Zones 14-24, 26, H1, H2
Full Sun
Regular WaterMinimal Water
Moderate, Minimal

Leptospermum scoparium

New Zealand Tea Tree, Manuka
Evergreen, Shrubs, Trees


Native to Australia and New Zealand. Called tea tree because Captain Cook brewed a tea from the leaves and gave it to his crew as a scurvy preventive. Substantial and useful plants year-round; soft and casual looking (never rigid or formal). Most make a display of five-petaled single flowers (somewhat like tiny wild roses) along stems among the small leaves. Petals surround a hard central cone or cup that matures to a woody seed capsule that hangs on for a long time after the petals drop. Flowers are typically white, pink, or red.

Leptospermum scoparium

The basic species is rarely seen, but its many varieties are valuable garden plants, most growing from 2–10 ft. tall and wide. Not as bold in form or as serviceable in hedges and screens as L. laevigatum, but its half-inch flowers are showier: single or double, in white, pink, or red, profuse in spring and summer. Branches are densely set with needlelike green leaves, 1/4–1/2 in. long. Good in containers.

‘Apple Blossom’: Upright growth to 8 ft. tall and wide. Pale pink double flowers age to white. Leaves tinge pink in cold weather.

‘Gaiety Girl’: Slow growing to 5 ft. tall and 4 ft. wide. Double flowers are pink with lilac tint. Reddish foliage.

‘Helene Strybing’: Grows to 6–10 ft. tall and wide with an open, picturesque habit. Rich, deep pink, single flowers are a bit larger than those of other varieties.

‘Horizontalis’: Fast growing to 3–4 ft. tall and 12 ft. wide, with horizontal branches and drooping branchlets. Single white flowers. Good bank cover.

‘Ruby Glow’: Compact, upright growth to 6–8 ft. tall and 4–5 ft. wide. Dark foliage and 3/4-in. double blooms in oxblood red; entire shrub looks red.

‘Snow White’: Spreading, compact growth to 2–4 ft. tall and 4–5 ft. wide. Double white flowers with green centers.


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