Some plants are blessed with fantastic common or cultivar names, this is one such species which I would almost buy for the label alone. ‘Candy Sparkles’ promised to be vibrant, attractive and showy without me even seeing it in the ground! I have been snapping up this cultivar whenever I see it and popping it here and there, and waiting, waiting waiting to see if it would live up to its happy go lucky name and I finally caught the specimen I planted in a neighbours garden on camera.
Well, what do you think? it is popping in the Autumn sun 😉 the flower colour is somewhere between burgundy, mauve and hot pink, and the bees absolutely love it.
Melaleuca ‘Candy Sparkles’ is a dwarf form of Melaleuca viridiflora, it grows to around 3 or 4 metres and is classified as a paper bark. It could be prune into the shape of a small tree if thats what you need.
Melaleuca viridiflora comes from Northern Queensland and can be found in damp swampy areas or along creeks where it enjoys wet feet for the monsoonal period. Therefore it is very useful in humid climates as far south as Batemans Bay, and has been loving the last 3 years of extensive wet weather we have had on the NSW east coast.
The leaves are broad and err on the side of grey, this species although it tolerates wet, will also survive extended periods of dry. I like to include it in a mixed screen, in the image above you can see it is planted alongside Leptospermum ‘Starry Night’ and Callistemon ‘In June’.
Melaleuca ‘Candy Sparkles’
You can prune this Melaleuca back hard to encourage it to be more dense, or you can ligt the canopy to expose the pretty papery bark.
I love the colour contrasts beautifully with the bright blue Autumn skies we are having at present, and the bees were feasting on the flowers. So if you see this Melaleuca around and are seduced by the label like I have been, give it a try, I don’t think it will disappoint.