Australian myrtle

Australian myrtle

Leptospermum laevigatum (Myrtaceae)

Common Name:

Australian myrtle

Scientific Name:

Leptospermum laevigatum (Myrtaceae)


Alternative common names:

Coast tea tree; small-leaved tea tree (English); Australiese mirteboom (Afrikaans)

Description:

A large, densely branched and untidy spreading small tree reaching up to 8m high. The old stems are twisted and furrowed with flaking bark. Dull greyish-green, leathery leaves with rounded tips which end in a tiny point. Solitary white flowers appear from August to October. The green fruit capsules turn yellow and then grey.

Additional Information


Where does this species come from?

Australia and Tasmania.

What is its invasive status in South Africa?

Existing legislation: CARA 2002 - Category 1 NEMBA 2020 - Category 1b

Where does this species come from?

Australia and Tasmania.

Where in South Africa is it a problem?

Western Cape and the Eastern Cape.

How does it spread?

Seed dispersal.

Why is it a problem?

It forms dense and impenetrable stands which outcompete and replace indigenous species.

What does it look like?

General description: A large and untidy, spreading shrub to small tree with dense branches up to 8m high.
Leaves: Dull greyish-green, leathery leaves with rounded tips.
Flowers: Solitary white flowers appear from August to October.
Fruit/seeds: Green fruit capsules turning yellow and finally grey.

Does the plant have any uses?

Used as shelter, hedging and ornamental purposes.

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