Callistemon Red Rover ['CALKWR'] PP33,724 - A very dense compact, mounding small shrub to 18 to 24 inches tall by up to 5 feet wide with stiff broad ovate leaves that are whorled along the branches with newly emerging leaves dark red that age to dark green with both colors often on the plant at the same time. This is a foliage plant that has yet to flower in cultivation.
Plant in full to part sun in a fairly well-drained soil and irrigate occasionally to infrequently - drought tolerant but best with some supplemental irrigation. It is cold hardy to 25° F. Red Rover is a very attractive small accent plant that is great as a border plant along the pathway or planted with rocks or other contrasting foliage plants.
Callistemon Red Rover is open pollinated hybrid between Callistemon citrinus and Callistemon citrinus hybrids. It was selected as a seedling by John Boekel at his Kooweerup Trees and Shrubs in Koo Wee Rup, Victoria, Australia in 2008 when he observed one seedling with prominent red juvenile foliage and a low, spreading growth habit. It was granted Plant Breeders Rights in June 2022 with Ozbreed as agent and an application for a US Plant Patent was filed in November 2020 and received US Plant Patent PP33,724 in December 2021. It is marketed in the US by Dig Plants Inc. and we thank Jo O'Connell at Australian Native Plants for first showing us this wonderful plant growing in her garden and providing our first plants. The images on this page were taken by us while visiting this fantastic nursery.
Melaleuca and Callistemon have long been noted as closely related and separated on the basis that Callistemon stamens were free and those of Melaleuca were in bundles. In 2006, using DNA evidence, Australian botanist Dr. Lyndley Alan Craven of the Australian National Herbarium reclassified nearly all species of Callistemon as Melaleuca noting that Callistemon was insufficiently distinct from Melaleuca. For more information about this see our more detailed discussion about this name change on our Callistemon citrinus entry. Though this change makes this plant's name Melaleuca 'Red Rover', until such time that the new names have broad recognition in the California nursery trade, we will still refer to these plants as Callistemon.
Information about Callistemon Red Rover ['CALKWR'] PP33,724 displayed on this page is based on our research about it conducted in our library and gathered from reliable online sources. We include observations made of this plant as it grows in our nursery gardens and in other gardens that we have visited, as well as how the crops have performed in containers in our own nursery field. We will also incorporate comments that we receive from others about this plant when we feel it adds information and particularly welcome hearing from anyone who has any additional cultural recommendations that would aid others in growing it.