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. https://www.anbg.gov.au/leptospermum/
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.