Plants of
South Australia
Callistemon sieberi
River Bottlebrush
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Regional Species Conservation Assessments per IBRA subregion.
Least concern
Near threatened
Critically endangered
Data deficient
Coober Pedy
Mount Gambier
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Botanical art

Kath Alcock paintings: 2

Prior names

Melaleuca paludicola

Callistemon salignus, O'Leary in W.R.Barker et al. (20

Melaleuca paludosa

Callistemon australis, nom.inval. pro syn.

Callistemon paludosus

Callistemon salignus var. australis, partly


Callistemon from the Greek 'kallos' meaning beauty and 'stemon' meaning a stamen, alluding to the beautiful flowers of the genus. Sieberi named after Franz Wilhelm Sieber (1785-1844), a Bohemian botanist and plant collector who travelled to Europe, the Middle-east, Southern Africa and Australia.

Distribution and status

Found in the southern Mount Lofty Ranges in South Australia, growing only along watercourses and rocky riverbeds. Also found in Queensland, New South Wales and Victoria. Native. Rare in South Australia. Uncommon in Queensland. Common in the other States.
Herbarium regions: Murray, Southern Lofty, Green Adelaide
NRM region: Adelaide and Mount Lofty Ranges
AVH map: SA distribution map (external link)

Plant description

Shrub or small tree to 3 m high with hard, fissured bark and slightly weeping branches. Leaves narrowly oblanceolate to 50 mm long and 5 mm wide, often slightly falcate with a pungent tip. Inflorescence a cylindrical spike to 50 mm long and 25 mm wide with cream to pale yellow, occasionally pink flowers. Flowering between November and January. Fruits are grey-brown woody capsules to 5 mm long and 5 mm wide, cup-shaped. Capsules remain on the branches. Seed embryo type is folded.

Seed collection and propagation

Collect seeds between January and December. Collect capsules that are large and hard with closed valves, preferably collect from older, woody capsules. Place the capsules in a tray and leave to dry for at least two weeks or until all the valves are open. Then place all the capsules into a bucket with a lid if possible and shake hard to dislodge the seeds from the capsules. Use a sieve to separate the seeds from the capsules. The fine material will contain the seeds and other flowering material. It is very difficult to separate the seeds from this other material as the size, shape and weight are very similar. However the seeds will be a darker brown and more fleshy looking. Store the seeds with a desiccant such as dried silica beads or dry rice, in an air tight container in a cool and dry place. Seeds are non-dormant, viable seed should germinate readily.