Leptospermum madidum subsp. sativum
[Weeping Tea Tree]
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Close-up views:

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Plant Notes

| Last updated: February 2023 |

This was not a tree that I had pay much attention over the years except to capture its images as part of my plant pictorial database. In June 2023, someone shared with me some pictures of this plant from her home. As usual, I did a search online to check whether there was anything new about this plant. Indeed, I found out that the botanical name of this plant was changed from Leptospermum brachyandrum to Leptospermum madidum subsp. sativum in NParks’ Flora & Fauna Web. The previous name used, Leptospermum brachyandrum, was indicated as a misapplied name.

The Australian Plants online had the following description of the 2 trees. But, there was no unique differences that stood out from the description. This information was updated quite a while back in September 1996.

I found A Beekeeper’s Guide to Australian Leptospermum published in December 2018 that had pictures of the 2 trees, Leptospermum brachyandrum in page 29 and Leptospermum madidum in page 83. For Leptospermum madidum, the guide stated that “The bark peels revealing a smooth trunk that is not as colourful as other species like it (L. brachyandrum)”.

Based on the pictures of Leptospermum brachyandrum seen in iNaturalist website, the tree does not seem have a weeping appearance. Of the 32 observations posted (viewed on 17 June 2023), only one was from Malaysia while the rest were from Australia. The one from Malaysia might be a Leptospermum madidum instead.

On the other hand, the pictures of Leptospermum madidum did show a weeping appearance. Of the 10 observations posted, one each was from Singapore and Malaysia while the rest were from Australia.

In Singapore, Leptospermum brachyandrum was reported in a flora survey at Bukit Batok area published in 2013 [1]. Needless to say, it was also listed in the older Singapore flora checklist published in 2009. Surprisingly, no Leptospermum species was included in the latest Singapore flora checklist published in 2022 [2].


[1] Neo L, Yee ATK, Chong KY, Kee CY, Lim RCJ, Ng WQ, Ng XY, Tan HTW. The vascular plant flora of Bukit Batok, Singapore. Nature in Singapore 2013;6:265-287. | Read article |

[2] Lindsay S et al. Flora of Singapore: Checklist and bibliography. Gardens’ Bulletin Singapore 2022;74(Suppl. 1):3-860. | Read article |

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