Leptospermum scoparium


Common Name: Wild Alpine Manuka, Manuka, New Zealand Tea Tree



Myrtaceae (family name)
Forage for Pollinators: Produces Nectar and Pollen for a vast array of pollinators, especially attractive to Honeybees and SHort-tongued Bumblebees and Solitary bees. Is a major honey plant in New Zealand.
Flowering time: May, June, July, sometimes again in November, December.
Growing information: EVERGREEN SHRUB growing to 3m (10ft) by 3m (10ft). Does not like very dry soil, likes shaded roots and full sun on the foliage, and tolerates severe coastal conditions. Hardy to minus 23ºC, approximately (the coldest ever recorded temperature, in 1903 is MINUS 25.6 degrees Centigrade) from whence these trees evolved on Alpine slopes in New Zealand, which is the provenance of these plants. Provides one of the most effective oils found in New Zealand’s Manuka plants, producing the most potent Manuka honey, measured in mg/Kg of ‘methylglyoxal’ (MGO). This essential oil is known to be antiseptic, antibacterial, antiviral and moderately antifungal, and the honey is many times more potent in these qualities than the oil – and without a doubt conferring these benefits to the bees – as in human medicinal use. A 100% star bee plant! Not only this, but it also flowers during the June-gap dearth. Can be planted as windbreak hedging in mild and mild coastal areas, however the more protected from wind they are, the better for bees to forage on. We recommend 2.5 m spacing between trees planted in a double, staggered row. If clipped and trained when about 5 years old, can form excellent, dense and long-lived hedges. Young plants benefit from winter protection, such as wind-break netting or tree-guards. For maximum flowering, plant in a sheltered, west or south-facing position, with roots shaded by another lower-growing shrub. Must remain moist during establishment. Mulch after planting, and protect with bubble-wrap or fleece around base of plant during its first winter, if not using a tree guard (or use both in colder areas). Plants will flower from the second or third year, and start to show more hardiness from their 4th year. Hardiness increases with maturity.