While Christmas Bells are a focal flower, Christmas Bush is the perfect Australian filler, with its green foliage and the red calyx lobes that make up what looks like a star-shaped flower. There are 5 calyces that look like petals while the centre is yellow. Christmas Bush grows to the size of a small tree (up to 4 m) and there are many ‘flowers’ per branch. The calyces expand and redden after the real cream-coloured flowers, which come out in spring, die off.
Christmas Bush is grown as a field crop. Most are grown in NSW
What to look for
- Buy when the ‘flowers’ are fully open and flexed back;
- ‘Flowers’ should have strong red/yellow colouring;
- Avoid branches with dark, purple-coloured flowers.
- Keep cool at all times.
- Strip leaves from the bottom half of each stem.
- Recut at least 2 cm off each stem and place in water immediately.
- Do not bash or split branch ends.
- Always use a preservative as this will help keep open flowers looking fresh.
- Replace vase water with fresh preservative every day.
- Misting is a great idea as branches can take up water through the leaves.
Interesting Facts about this Flower
The name Ceratopetalum comes from two Greek words meaning horned-petal, (one species has petals resembling stag’s horns).
Botanical Name: Ceratopetalum gummiferum
Common Names: Christmas Bush, Festival Bush
Stem Length: 30 to 80 cm
Country of Origin: Australia
Available Colours: Cream, Red