Australian bottle brush - delicious drink
Updated: Feb 17, 2021
A simple natural sweet drink that gives you energy and tastes great.
Bottlebrush flowers have a sweet nectar which can either be consumed by sucking on the flowers or by soaking the flowers in water to make a sweet drink. Callistemon citrinus, Lemon-Scented Bottlebrush, leaves can be used to make a refreshing tea that can be sweetened using the nectar from the flowers.
A bit about the shrub.
Bottlebrushes are members of the genus Callistemon and belong to the family Myrtaceae. They are closely related to paperbark melaleucas, which also have 'bottlebrush' shaped flower spikes. There are 40 species currently called Callistemon, Most Bottlebrushes occur in the east and southeast of Australia, with two species occurring in the southwest of Western Australia. Bottlebrushes can be found growing from Australia's tropical north to the temperate south. They often grow in damp or wet conditions such as along creek beds or in areas, which are prone to floods.
Bottlebrush plants (Callistemon spp.) get their name from the spikes of flowers that bloom at the ends of the stems, bearing a strong resemblance to a bottle brush. Grow them as shrubs or small trees that grow up to 15 feet. Most bottlebrush varieties bloom over a long summer season in shades of red or crimson. One exception is C. sieberi, which has light yellow flower spikes. Bottlebrush plants need a very mild climate.
Bee's as indicators
Bottlebrush flowers have sweet nectar, which can either be consumed by sucking on the flowers or by soaking the flowers in water to make a sweet drink. Callistemon citrinus, Lemon-Scented Bottlebrush, leaves can be used to make a refreshing tea that can be sweetened using the nectar from the flowers. A favourite of mine is I have an old Callistemon viminalis or weeping Callistemon in my backyard which has beautiful red bottlebrush flowers. I use my bees as a biological indicator, as they love the nectar rich flowers and they tell me when the flowers have the most nectar. I place the flowers in a large jar and by placing them I mean fill the jar with flowers, then I fill the jar with warm water (70 deg c), put the lid on once cooled and let them soak overnight. The next day give the jar a good shake and serve with ice and Mentha australis Native river mint.