Chamelaucium is a genus of flowering shrubs containing 21 different species. It is a member of the myrtle family. This group of plants is native to Western Australia and is known for its large, attractive flowers. Chamelaucium is most commonly found in flower arrangements.
This type of plant is also known as waxflower. It can grow to a height of seven feet (2.13 m) and may also grow as wide. Its flowers are five-petaled and range in color from white to hot pink to light purple. They grow in clustering bunches at the end of long stems. Leaves are typically long and narrow, similar to pine needles, and light green in color. They grow opposite one another on the branch.
This shrub blooms in late spring and throughout summer. Its leaves remain green and lush during fall and winter months as well, making it an evergreen. It thrives in warm, arid climates, in soil with good drainage. It can tolerate moderate drought conditions, but will not survive severe frosts. Some warm, temperate regions may experience a second bloom time during winter.
Due to its blooms, chamelaucium is often used in flower arrangements. Its light and dark pink blooms can create a striking contrast against roses, hyacinth, and other popular cut flowers. The blossoms also emit a light, sweet fragrance that add to its popularity in displays.
Chamelaucium may be grown from wood cuttings, or transplanted into the garden as a young shrub. It must be imported by a local nursery from Australia. They are also typically available for purchase online, from garden centers in Australia. Chamelaucium prefers full, direct sunlight. The soil should be well watered when it is first planted — then watering should be reduced gradually, until the beginning of early autumn. This type of plant may also be grown indoors in containers, but should be placed next to a window that receives direct sun.
This genus of shrubs is susceptible to puccinia psidii, a fungus that attacks members of the myrtle family. Though chamelaucium is native to western Australia, this fungus is native to the United States. It typically only effects plants that have been transplanted or grown there.
The fungus appears as dark, rust-colored areas along the needle-like leaves of the plant. Yellow spots gradually begin to appear in these shaded areas. Over time, the shrub will experience significant loss of foliage and ultimately death. The fungus presents a much larger threat to the also susceptible eucalyptus, which is in the same plant family.