Common Names: Leptospermum, Tea Tree, Lepto

Botanical names: Leptospermum, (lep-tow-SPUR-mum)

Availability: December through May

Vase life: 7 to 10 days

Storage temperatures: 36 - 38 degrees Fahrenheit

Ethylene Sensitive: Yes

Description: Clusters of small, double blossoms on woody stems with short, soft, needlelike, leaves.

Color: Pink, red and white

Botanical facts: The name is from the Greek words leptos (slender) and sperma (seed), a reference to the slender seeds of the plant.

Design notes: Smaller stems work well as a filler. Longer stems add line to arrangements. Commonly used in contemporary and Asian styled design.

Purchasing hints: Purchase branches with many buds just beginning to open. Avoid branches with mildew.

Conditioning: Remove all foliage that will be below the water line. Cut under water with a sharp knife. Hydrate in a solution of warm water and commercial floral preservative / floral food for two hours before storage or usage. Do not pack branches tightly in storage. Air circulation is needed to prevent mildew and brown spots.

Additional notes: Branches with fully opened flowers are difficult to work with as the flowers shatter easily.