A tiny treasure

Manuka or tea tree, Leptospermum scoparium, is a New Zealand plant which has pretty and conspicuous flowers  - most of our plants have rather subtle and inconspicuous flowers.  I have seen hillsides of white-flowered manuka plants flowering so profusely it looked like snow had fallen, and this was in the subtropical north where snow is never seen!  Manuka honey is another happy result - it tastes great and has considerable medicinal value, helping healing of skin and gastric ulcers.  Pretty and practical - could it get better?  Well, yes - gardeners are always looking for "improved" plants, and many Leptospermum cultivars have been developed with differences in flower and plant forms which satisfy this plant-acquisition itch.  Alas, some cultivars are not readily available.  As I understand it, Warwick Harris crossed a small prostrate form of the Tasmanian subalpine species Leptospermum rupestre with 'Huia' a dwarf cultivar of the NZ species L. scoparium.  One result was this dwarf prostrate form Leptospermum 'Lilliput', but it was not taken up for commercial release.

Leptospermum 'Lilliput' - a tiny treasure, perfect for a rockery or pot culture.  My plant is barely 10cm tall, generous in production of pretty pink flowers.  I was lucky to get it from Hokonui Alpines, another treasure - Peter Salmond's specialist nursery that helps to maintain the diversity of plants available for gardeners and plant-lovers to tend and enjoy.