Natural populations

With scattered occurrences in the north, Leptospermum obovatum is common through the southern highlands and lowlands of New South Wales and the midlands and volcanic plains of Victoria, extending west to the banks of the Wimmera River. Often in swampy places but mostly among granite or sandstone rocks along the edges of swift-flowing streams [43].

Flowering and seeds

The main flowering is in summer with fruits maturing in autumn. Seed is periodically released over a 12 month period.  Leptospermum obovatum germinates easily from seed [10] with no pre-treatment, at an optimum temperature of 20°C [90].

Cultivation and uses

A valuable habitat and nectar source for wildlife, and a useful screen plant in windbreaks and stream bank plantings [10].

Key descriptors:

Climate parameters
Mean annual rainfall: 550-1450 mm
Rainfall distribution pattern: uniform or winter
Frosts (approx. no. per year): 3. greater than 20
Frost intensity: light to moderate (0 to -5°C)
Mean annual temperature: 6-18 °C
Mean max. temperature of the hottest month: 18-30 °C
Mean min. temperature of the coldest month: -4-4 °C
Altitude: metres 50-1600 metres
Tolerance of extremes in climate
Frost: tolerates frosts in the 0° to -5°C range
Soil factors
Texture: loam, sandy loam, sandy clay loam or sand
Soil depth: 2. moderate to deep (30-100 cm or greater)
Drainage: seasonally waterlogged
Tolerance of adverse soils
Extremes in texture: sand
Soil waterlogging tolerance: drainage may be sluggish at times
Biological traits under cultivation
Habit: evergreen shrub less than 2 m tall
Longevity: short-lived less than 15 years
Root system: shallow and spreading
Erosion control potential: excellent for sandy sites


[10] Wrigley JW, Fagg M (1993) Bottlebrushes, Paperbarks & Tea Trees and all other plants in the Leptospermum alliance. Angus & Robertson Publishers, Sydney, NSW.

[28] Thompson J (1989) A revision of the genus Leptospermum (Myrtaceae). Telopea 3: 396-402.

[43] National Herbarium of New South Wales (2008) PlantNET - Flora of New South Wales. (Online Accessed: February 2008). 

[90] Flynn S, Turner RM, Dickie JB (2004) Seed Information Database (Release 7.0, October 2006). (Online Accessed: July 2007).

Internet links

Australian National Botanic Gardens - Growing Australian Plants:

Charles Sturt University Plant database:

PlantNet NSW Flora Online – species description & distribution: