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Leptospermum scoparium 'Snow White'

New Zealand Tea Tree, Manuka
Evergreen, Shrubs, Trees, Flowers


Native to Australia, 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 typically white, pink, or red.

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

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Leptospermum scoparium

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

Leptospermum scoparium 'Snow White', photo courtesy of Thomas J. Story
Leptospermum scoparium 'Snow White', photo courtesy of Thomas J. Story

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'Snow White'

Spreading, compactgrowth 2–4 ft. tall, 4–5 ft.wide. Double white flowers withgreen centers.

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