The Bottle Brush Tree is a lovely Ornamental tree native to NE Australia and Introduced to India in the 19th Century. As of date you can see the tree in practically every Indian City.
A tall handsome evergreen tree it has long trailing branches laden with woody fruits and Bright Scarlet flowers resembling Bottle Brushes.
Weeping Bottle Brush ( English) , Cheel ( Hindi) or Callistemon viminalis ( Scientific name)
It belongs to the Eucalyptus family Myrtaceae.
The Flowing or cascading branches have given it the name Weeping Bottle Brush.
The scientific name of the Bottle Bush has seen a major tussle over the years and has only in the last five years been renamed Melaleuca viminalis. The Genus has been changed from the earlier and still commonly used Callistemon viminalis
Am clueless how all this works and who finally decides on these very difficult to remember names.
However I do try to bring to you the Family name as that reveals certain common characteristics.
Do break one of these lovely lance like leaves and smell them, the aroma will definitely remind you of Eucalyptus. No surprises as it belongs to the same family.
Even the cupped fruits bear a distinct resemblance.
The Bright Scarlet flowers which adorn the tree are in fact brightly coloured filaments which carry the pollen on their tips.
The Bottle Brush is a collective groups of flowers with the filaments playing Eye candy for the pollinators.
These lovely wooden bells or cups are the fruits and each contains the seeds of the Weeping Bottle Brush.
A remarkable feature of the beautiful Ornamental Bottle Brush Tree is that the Wooden Fruits or Wooden Cups can remain on the tree for SEVERAL YEARS.
In the past few decades there has been an intense debate on the Introduction of Trees from other countries.
The Eucalyptus Trees( also native to Australia) have been at the center of the storm as they have allegedly been the cause of a reduction in the Water Tables in several areas in India.
The pictures above were taken in the Enchanting Sunder Nursery at New Delhi which has been recreated as an Indo- Persian Garden from the 16th Century.