ROTTNEST ISLAND TEA-TREE
Dense canopied tall shrub or tree, 1–5 m high with rough, grey bark.
Leaves small, alternate, 7–16 mm long, 1–2 mm wide. Flowers in leafy 10–15 mm
long spikes towards end of current season’s growth with each flower comprising a
cluster of stamens up to 7 mm long. Seeds produced in files comprising 3–4 mm
long, globular woody capsules produced in series after flowering and remaining on
the plant for one or more years. Seeds fine and dust-like mixed with sterile packing
Open pollinated by a wide variety of insects and nectar seeking species.
From Shark Bay south to eastern Australia. Locally common particularly
in swales in dunes and other wind protected locations. Once a dominant plant over
much of Rottnest Island; however, the species is highly sensitive to fire and grazing.
Without protection, plants become wind-pruned.
Easily propagated from seed sown in late summer to early autumn.
Prick out seedlings at the 4–6 leaf stage.
Uses in restoration:
A particularly useful species in coastal restoration; however, the
species does not occur naturally in many parts of the metropolitan region north of
Woodmans Point. Rottnest tea-tree was widely planted in dunes in metropolitan
Perth, particularly in the City Beach/Floreat beachfront. where the species does not
naturally occur and where the plant quickly establishes in dunes and forms dense,
shaded stands that preclude other native species. Rottnest tea-tree may become
weedy when planted outside of its natural habitats.
areas. Can be pruned and hedged in the home garden; however, only trim as far as