The Plant Family Leptospermum (Australian Native Tea Tree / Manuka Bush)

Leptospermum scoparium
Leptospermum scoparium, Source Wikimedia Commons, John Tann

Hello everyone,

Today we are going to be learning a bit more about the wonderful Botanical Plant family that creates the wonderful flowers that the bees visit to gather the nectar which gets converted to make Manuka Honey. Manuka Honey is celebrated worldwide for it’s antibacterial and antimicrobial properties.

So what EXACTLY is the name of the plant that creates this wonderful honey called Manuka Honey?

The answer is Leptospermum.

If you would like to learn more about the specific health benefits of eating Manuka Honey, then please click here.






Leptospermum squarrosum (Pink Tea Tree) source Wikipedia, JJ Harrison

Some botanical information for you.

Leptospermum is part of the plant family Myrtaceae. Leptospermum is in the sub-family Leptospermoideae. There are 86 recognised species of Leptosperoideae in the world.

Leptospermum can be found in a variety of countries including New Zealand, Australia, The Malay Peninsula, Sumatra, Borneo, Java, Philippines, Sulawesi, Thailand, Flores, Moluccas, southern Burma and New Guinea.

There are a number of different names for this plant depending on which country in the world it is found.

Leptospermums all have five conspicuous petals and five groups of stamens which alternate with the petals. There is a single style in the centre of the flower and the fruit is a woody capsule. (source Wikipedia, 2017)

By adapting to so many countries and regions, this plant has proven that it really is a very versatile and adaptable plant indeed.


Video Title :L E P T O S P E R M U M            Video Date: 20, 2012

Video Author: Rodica Madan


New Zealand Leptospermum =  Leptospermum scoparium  (Manuka Bush)

New Zealand only has one known species of Leptospermum. The full name of which is Leptospermum scoparium. You might know it by it’s common name – The Manuka Bush.

This is the plant responsible for producing the flowers that the European honey bees come and visit, which in turn gets converted to the sweet nectar we call “Manuka Honey”.

New Zealand only has one known species of Leptospermum, so it is always called The Manuka Bush, which is the basis for Manuka Honey.

For more information on the New Zealand species Leptospermum scoparium, please click here

Video Title:  Leptospermum scoparium

Video Author: Audiopedia                      Video Date: Jan 20, 2016

Australia Leptospermum =  83 varieties

Australia has the most species of Leptospermum. They have 83 of the 86 recognized species. The varieties of Leptospermum are different depending on which State or Territory of Australia you visit.

Varieties of this plant species include:

  • Leptospermum amboinense   Which grows well in Queensland and South-East Asia. (Australia)
  • Leptospermum arachnoides   Which grows well in Queensland and New South Wales (Australia)
  • Leptospermum brevipes          Which grows well in Victoria, Australian Capital Territory, New South Wales and Queensland (Australia)
  • Leptospermum continentale  Which grows well in South Australia, Victoria and New South Wales (Australia)
  • Leptospermum scoparium     Which grown is Tasmania, Victoria, New South Wales (Australia). Please remember this is the one species that grows in New Zealand.

For a full list of the 83 recognised species of Australian Tea Trees – genus Leptospermum please click here to be redirected to the Australian National Botanical Gardens website.

I hope you have found this useful.

Do you know any more information about the Leptospermum bush?  Do you have one growing in your backyard?  Do you live in a country which grows native Leptospermum and would like to tell us a personal story.

Please feel free to leave any comments, suggestions or any little stories in the comments section found in the section below.

Leptospermum, Tea Tree
Australian Common Tea Tree, Source WikipediaCommons, John Tann

2 Replies to “The Plant Family Leptospermum (Australian Native Tea Tree / Manuka Bush)”

  1. Thanks for the info about where Manuka honey comes from. Manuka honey is such a hot commodity nowadays, given that it is so beneficial, and it’s nice to know from what flower it originates. For some reason, I always thought that Manuka honey was only from Hawaii, as someone gave me a jar from there. I didn’t know that it’s also harvested in Australia and New Zealand.

    1. Hi Kiki,

      I think it’s great that you have already tried Manuka Honey.  It always blows me away when I find people who know about this amazing honey. Thank you for sharing that.

      Did you know that Manuka Honey is great for healing wounds?  In fact it is actually AMAZING for wound care.  This is because Manuka Honey has shown to be wonderful at attacking the bacteria that lives in serious wounds.  For more information, please take a look at my post Manuka Honey For Wound Care.

      Thanks again for stopping by. 

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