Plants of South Eastern New South Wales

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Leptospermum continentale

Common name

Prickly tea-tree



Where found

Forest, woodland, heath, grassy areas, gullies, stream banks, seepage areas, and swampy sites. Widespread.


Shrub to 4 m tall, occasionally tree-like. Leaves sharp pointed. Bark on smaller stems smooth, shedding in stringy strips; on older stems rough and finely fissured. In very old plants the bark may peel off in flaky strips. Stems hairy, with conspicuous flanges curving about the stem. Leaves aromatic when rubbed, alternating up the stems, 0.5-1.8 cm long, usually 1-3.5 mm wide, broadest at the base and tapering upward, surfaces hairless; margins curved upwards (rarely flat), with minute teeth. Young leaf shoots silky, becoming hairless; bases tapering to a more or less distinct stalk. Flowers 6-12 mm in diameter, with 5 white or occasionally flushed pink petals. Flowers usually single. Flowers produced on new growth. Flowers Spring to Summer. Nuts usually long-persisting, 5-8 mm in diameter.

Hybridises with Leptospermum myrtifolium.

All native plants on unleased land in the ACT are protected.

PlantNET description:  (accessed 12 January, 2021)

Additional information in: Thompson, J. (8 December 1989), A revision of the genus Leptospermum (Myrtaceae). Telopea 3(3): 417-418, map 8-59