The Australian tea tree slowly grows with a twisting branching habit into a large evergreen shrub or small tree growing 15-25 ft. tall with an equal spread. Its small round leaves are pale olive-green; numerous white flowers occur in spring and are modestly showy. Leaves, trunks and branches are the most interesting and valued parts of this plant; this plant can become a wonderful sculptural feature in our Inland Empire gardens.
This species comes from coastal sand dunes of southern Australia where it shows good adaptability to wind, salt spray and seasonal drought. In the Inland Empire it has proven to be a tough and durable species that is popular as a specimen plant for use in containers, in raised planters and on banks. Additionally, it can be clipped into a fine-textured hedge. Two compact selections are available: L. l. ‘Compactum’ grows 5-8 ft. hig; and L. l. ‘Reevesii’ has denser rounder foliage and a compact form to 4-5 ft. high. Both of these cultivars can be planted closely together and be maintained as clipped or informal hedges and screens.