Bottlebrush Flowers

These are Australian flowers (Callistemon species) but so familiar to New Zealanders too, and perhaps to most the rest of the world – it’s not unusual to see them in photos on other people’s blogs, normally the standard red-flowered species.

I’ve been familiar with bottlebrush flowers since I was a kid growing up in Northland but they’re also common down south here despite our cooler temperatures and wet winters. I’m a huge admirer of Australian flora and fauna and the bottlebrush is one of my favourites!

All of the photos below were taken by Nigel bar one which was taken by me, and they’re all photographed in Dunedin Botanic Garden, New Zealand.

All non-white flowers were photographed on Christmas Day 2019, and once again all of these photos were taken at Dunedin Botanic Garden (in the Australian Garden near the bird aviaries).

This low-growing species made a wonderful edge border. Pretty fallen petals too.

Closer view, lovely gold-specked red flowers. Taken by Liz.


Gorgeous pink blooms near the aviaries.

Callistemon rigidus or ‘stiff bottlebrush’. From Queensland / New South Wales.

These photos taken 24 November 2019.

Text by Liz, photos by Nigel; Exploring Colour (2020)

20 thoughts on “Bottlebrush Flowers

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  1. We planted a red bottlebrush in our very first garden but I would be surprised if it made it through some of the cold Scottish winters. If we had one in a pot here, it could come into the conservatory in winter. The yellow and pink ones look lovely – have never seen those before!

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  2. We’ve grown a bottlebrush here once. They are lovely flowers and you’ve got several nice species there. My favorite image is the first not only for the bumblebee but also the combination of flowers and buds.

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    1. I did look Linda, as soon as I came inside and saw your comment, and you know what? There was this massive cruise ship going past in the background – I got such a kick out of seeing it! The albatross just sat on its nest apparently oblivious to the ship!


    2. Re-visited about 1/2-hour ago and just as I’d accessed it the adult bird stood up for a few seconds and I got a great view of the albatross chick – wow!


      1. Isn’t that a fun site (and a fun sight, too!)? I absolutely love these cams. It’s such a wonderful way to watch birds in Canada, Costa Rica, and New Zealand, all in the same half-hour.

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  3. Do you have myrtle rust in NZ, Liz. It was found in 2010 and is infecting the myrtaceae family of plants, including bottlebrush? I don’t know where it came from but if NZ was disease free then that may prove valuable in plant conservation eventually.

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    1. No Tracy, sadly NZ got it too. I’m not sure how far down the country. I don’t think it’s this far south. I’m unsure how far it’s able to spread. Hoping our conditions don’t suit it, fingers crossed.

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