Leptospermum petersonii (MYRTACEAE) Lemon-scented Tea-tree

Plants to Plant

Shrub to 5 m found near wet sclerophyll forest or rainforest, on sandy soils or on rocky escarpments, north from Port Macquarie, NSW. Fast-growing screen plant. Slightly frost tender. Bark flaky, persistent and fibrous, younger stems hairy, soon hairless. Leaves often strongly lemon-scented, narrow-elliptic to lanceolate, usually 20-40 mm long, 2-5 mm wide, flat or recurved, mostly hairless; base tapering; sessile.

Photo: Robert Whyte


White flowers in spring and early summer. Flowers usually solitary, 10-15 mm in diameter, white, new growth tinged with red or purple.
Photo: Matt Tomkins


Fruit 6 mm, valves spreading as wide or wider than the rim. Sow seed in spring, only just cover the seed. Prick out the seedlings into tubes when they are large enough to handle and grow them on in the nursery for at least their first winter. Plant out in late spring or early summer, after the last expected frosts, and give some protection from the cold for their first winter or two outdoors. The seed remains viable for many years.

Photo: Matt Tomkins