Leptospermum laevigatum 'Reevesii' (Dwarf Tea Tree) - A very attractive dense compact shrub that grows to 4 to 6 feet tall by 6 to 8 feet with rounded gray-green leaves. Small rose-like white flowers appear in spring, though flowering is not as prominent as on the species, Leptospermum laevigatum.
The cultivar 'Reevesii' has similar cultural requirements as Leptospermum laevigatum. Plant in full to part sun and irrigate occasionally to infrequently. It is drought tolerant and will grow in seaside conditions, but protect from hot, drying winds. It will take temperatures down to about 25 degrees F.
Leptospermum laevigatum is common in coastal areas in the Australian states of New South Wales, Victoria, Tasmania and possibly into South Australia where it grows on sand dunes and cliffs; there it is called Coast Tea Tree. The genus name come from the Greek word 'leptos' meaning "thin" and 'sperma' meaning "seed" in reference to the small seeds and the specific epithet means "smooth", likely for the smooth hairless leaves. See our listing of Leptospermum laevigatum for more information about this species. The cultivar 'Reevesii' differs primarily from Leptospermum laevigatum by being a much smaller plant with a denser habit and slighlty larger more rounded leaves.
According to the Encyclopaedia of Australian Plants this compact selection originated in the US and the names 'Reevesii' and 'Compacta' are synonymous. Plantsman John McGregor, retired horticulturist from the Huntington Botanic Garden noted that this plant originated back in the 1930s from a congested "witch's broom" mutation on the typical form of the species and was first propagated and distributed by the late, great nursery of Evans and Reeves in Santa Monica. Backing up this story's timeline is the fact that the plant is listed in the 1947 edition of Hortus II but is absent from Hortus I that was published in 1935. We have grown this very nice plant since 1985.
Information about Leptospermum laevigatum 'Reevesii' 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.