I finally found a mature Lemon Scented Tea Tree to photograph which shows off its stunning weeping habit and shapely trunk and branches. Leptospermum petersonii really does make a wonderful small feature shade tree in the garden, the strong thick branches spread the canopy wide making it an excellent climbing tree!
The soft, pendulous branches bear long, slender leaves that start coppery, then turn green.
The small, white dainty flowers attract bees and insect eating birds, the flowers are followed by woody capsules which seed eating birds adore. In fact, this particular Tea Tree was home to a family of magpies who had built their nest near the top.
The leaves have a strong lemon scent when crushed and make a lovely tea when infused. The flowers are nectar rich and prolific which makes it a great bee magnet. They prefer full sun but will grow in part shade and tolerate mild drought and light frosts. Leptospermum petersonii is not too fussy about soil and will cope with free draining soil and temporary inundation to the root zone, they also make a great wind barrier.
Leptospermum petersonii is very fast growing, especially when planted in full sun, this makes it a useful quick screening plant or great fast shade.
The leaves and stems contain essential oils used in candle and soap making and can sometimes help to keep mosquitoes at bay.
This is a very under utilised small feature tree which would make a worthwhile addition to small gardens especially in the inner city. It reaches around 6 metres high x 6 metres wide if given the space, it can also be kept smaller by regular pruning. Why not consider this lovely small tea tree for your next difficult spot in the garden?