Kunzea 'Badja Carpet'
Kunzeas are one of the genera in the prominent Australian plant family, Myrtaceae.
Kunzea 'Badja Carpet', a trailing or prostrate shrub, is an excellent ground cover ideally suited to Canberra's climate and soil conditions. It grows naturally on Big Badja Hill, north-east of Cooma, New South Wales, and may be a species not yet scientifically assessed. It was registered as a cultivar (cultivated variety) because of its great horticultural potential, and although the cultivar name might lapse when the plant is finally given a botanical name, this allows it to be identified until that time in the nursery trade.
The cultivar is closely related to K. capitata but differs markedly in habit. K. capitata is usually a rounded shrub to 1.5 m high by 1.5 m wide while Kunzea sp.'Badja Carpet' is prostrate or up to 30 cm high with a spread of up to 4m. The leaves are small, obovate, 2-4 mm long by 2-3 mm wide and arranged alternately.
Flowering period is early summer and the fluffy white flowers are produced in small terminal clusters on short branchlets. By contrast, flowers of K. capitata are usually mauve although white forms do exist. The red stems of the new growth originating from the centre of the flower clusters are an attractive feature of the plant.
Propagation is best achieved from cuttings, which strike readily. Layering may also be possible as the plant has been observed to develop roots at the leaf nodes in moist, mulched garden beds. The plant performs best in better drained soils but also grows satisfactorily in heavier clay soils. Full sun is an important consideration in cultivation, as plants in shaded positions have been slow to develop.
No damage from insects or disease has been noted and the cultivar is extremely resistant to frost.
Text by Ron Jackson, ANBG (1980)
Name meaning: Kunzea 'Badja Carpet'
Kunzea - in honour of Gustav Kunze (1793-1851), a naturalist and physician of Leipzig.
'Badja Carpet' - from Big Badja Hill, north-east of Cooma, New South Wales