Beaufortia sparsa (Swamp Bottlebrush) grows to 1–3 m high and produces spectacular, fluorescent, red-orange flowers which are arranged in bottlebrush-like spikes near the ends of the branches that continue to grow after flowering. Swamp Bottlebrush flowers sporadically throughout the year, but most prolifically from early summer into autumn.
Occurring from Bunbury to east of Albany, as the common name suggests it prefers swamps and seasonally damp areas. The Swamp Bottlebrush can sometimes grow near and be confused with Beaufortia decussata (Gravel Bottlebrush) but that species prefers to be in drier parts of the landscape, has opposite leaves, and deep red flowers.
Swamp Bottlebrush’s firecracker-like flowers make it the perfect Plant of the Month for the start of 2023.
Photo: R. Davis