The white star-shaped
Manuka flowers are a common sight over many months through the
New Zealand summer. They are a wonderful site smothering native New
Zealand bush like a sprinkling of white sugar.
An emerging worldwide
market for New Zealand Tea Tree Manuka honey has resulted in
many apiarists cultivating abundant Manuka bush to procure the unique
The New Zealand
Tea Tree's scientific name is Leptospermum scoparium (scoparium
= broom-like, referring to one of Manuka's commonest uses). Settlers
in New Zealand reputedly used the leaves as a substitute for tea from
China, hence their common name.
Growing to 4m+,
Manuka may be found throughout New Zealand in a variety of habitats,
being tolerant of poor soils, exposure and even waterlogged sites. Manuka
is fast-growing and will rapidly give cover for revegetation projects,
or an excellent screen, being easily clipped into an attractive yet
A number of New
Zealand Tea Tree cultivars can be grown, ranging from tall upright
shrubs to low trailing Manuka varieties. These cultivars give the gardener
a huge array of long-flowering varieties in various colours from white
to pink to red.