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Xanthostemon chrysanthus, Golden Penda, Expo gold, Junjum

Xanthostemon chrysanthus

Golden Penda, Expo gold, Junjum
Family: Myrtaceae
Origin: Coastal rainforest in north Queensland from Townsville to Cape York
USDA Zone: 9-10?
USDA Plant Hardiness MapLarge shrub 5-10 ft tallSmall tree 10-20 ftFull sunModerate waterRegular waterYellow, orange flowersPlant attracts butterflies, hummingbirdsFragrant plant

Xanthostemon chrysanthus, is still quite unknown outside its native country, and is pretty hard to find. This is a very desirable garden plant for warmer climates. The glorious, dense flower heads are well displayed at branches ends and are bright yellow with stunningly extended stamens reminiscent of a Bottlebrush. Flowers are sweetly fragrant and atract butterlies and hummingbirds. Bloom time in Northern hemisphere lasts from winter through early spring, which makes it especially valuable. In sub-tropical and tropical areas it flowers reliably and often within 2-3 years from seed. New leaves start out red, contrasting beautifully with older, lance shaped glossy green foliage. In native rainforest environment the tree can grow up to 40-50 ft, however in gardens it may reach only 15-20 ft. It responds well to pruning and can be easily shaped into a shrub, hedge or screen with annual pruning. Golden Penda is a favorite of birds and butterflies; it makes a good cut flower. The plant is pretty hardy, tolerates dry soil and requires almost no watering once established; however it will thrive providing moist rich soils. It can also take light frosts.

The genus name Xanthostemon comes from Greek xanthos - yellow, and stemon - a thread or stamen. The species name chrysanthus comes from Greek chrysos - gold and anthos - a flower. This plant is known as Junjum among aboriginal Australians, its hardwood used for swords, spear points and digging sticks.

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