Family: Myrtaceae
Common Name: Brush Box

There are just four species in this genus, the most well-known being brush box, formerly known as Tristania conferta. Brush box is a handsome tree but is too tender to be grown outside in frost-prone climates. However, as a young plant it makes a pleasing foliage speci­men for a cool or intermediate greenhouse or conservatory, but it is unlikely to flower.


L. confertus (Synonym: Tristania conferta), brush box, is native to forests on the eastern coast of Australia. In nature, it is a majestic tree, often growing to over 40 m (130 ft) in height, but in cultivation rarely exceeding 15-20 m (50-65 ft). The foliage is a dark, glossy, green and a profusion of cream flowers appears from mid to late spring through early summer. The trunk is gray-brown as it matures, but shedding bark each year reveals a smooth, reddish brown trunk. The timber is very high quality and is often used in flooring and wood panelling. Cultivars 'Perth Gold' and 'Variegata', with cream to yellow leaf variegations, are much smaller trees, and are ideal for growing under glass.


In the greenhouse or conservatory, grow in pots of acid, well-drained, potting com­post and ensure maximum light, but shade from direct sun. Keep compost only slightly moist in winter. Outdoors grow in well-drained, acid soil with full sun or partial shade. Propagate either from seed in the spring or alternatively, from semi-ripe cuttings in summer, providing bottom heat for both.


Zone 10.

Lophomyrtus      Loquat