This New Zealand native is showing attractive blooms in the Terrace Garden.
A member of the myrtle family (Myrtaceae) the genus Leptospermum contains 80 species of aromatic evergreen trees and shrubs from New Zealand, Australia and south-east Asia. Members of the genus have small, alternate, aromatic leaves, which are either hairless or hairy. The shallowly-cupped, five-petalled flowers are white, pink or red, and are borne in the leaf axils. A New Zealand native Leptospermum scoparium has slender, sharp-tipped, green leaves which are the source of an essential oil used by the indigenous Maori populations as a herbal remedy. The flowers are nectar-rich and the source of manuka honey. In New Zealand native, L. scoparium grows in wetlands, river gravels and dry hillsides in coastal and low alpine regions, and in cultivation requires well-drained, acidic to neutral soil in a sheltered, sunny location.