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Aussie shrub finds a home in Sacramento gardens

Gray honey-myrtle (Melaleuca incana) is a evergreen shrub with 10-foot arching branches. In spring, reddish buds open to reveal yellow bottle brush-like flowers.
Gray honey-myrtle (Melaleuca incana) is a evergreen shrub with 10-foot arching branches. In spring, reddish buds open to reveal yellow bottle brush-like flowers.

This is one part in a weekly series featuring the UC Davis Arboretum’s “Life After Lawn” series – 45 can’t-fail, easy-care, low-water plants well adapted to our region and ideal for drought-tolerant landscapes.

Gray honey-myrtle

Melaleuca incana

Size: Arching branches to 10 feet tall and 6 to 8 feet wide

Bloom season: Small, dark-reddish buds open to reveal light-yellow bottle-brush flowers in late spring through early summer.

Exposure: Full sun

Pruning needs: Prune to shape as desired.

Water needs: Low; once established, water deeply once a month. Foliage and blooms look better with more occasional watering.

Snapshot: This Australian native feels right at home in Sacramento gardens. A quick-growing evergreen shrub with 10-foot arching branches, honey-myrtle is covered with soft gray leaves. In late spring, reddish buds open to reveal pale-yellow bottle brush-like flowers. Honey-myrtle is useful in the background of large beds or as a specimen plant.

For more on “Life After Lawn,” click on arboretum.ucdavis.edu.

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