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Classification System: APG IV

Superregnum: Eukaryota
Regnum: Plantae
Cladus: Angiosperms
Cladus: Eudicots
Cladus: Core eudicots
Cladus: Rosids
Cladus: Eurosids II
Ordo: Myrtales

Familia: Myrtaceae
Subfamilia: Myrtoideae
Tribus: Leptospermeae
Genus: Kunzea
Species: K. acicularis – K. acuminata – K. affinis – K. amathicola – K. ambigua – K. aristulata – K. axillaris – K. badjaensis – K. baxteri – K. bracteolata – K. caduca – K. calida – K. cambagei – K. capitata – K. ciliata – K. cincinnata – K. clavata – K. dactylota – K. ericifolia – K. ericoides – K. eriocalyx – K. flavescens – K. glabrescens – K. graniticola – K. jucunda – K. juniperiodes – K. linearis – K. micrantha – K. micromera – K. montana – K. muelleri – K. newbeyi – K. obovata – K. occidentalis – K. opposita – K. parvifolia – K. pauciflora – K. peduncularis – K. petrophila – K. pomifera – K. praestans – K. preissiana – K. pulchella – K. recurva – K. robusta – K. rostrata – K. rupestris – K. salterae – K. serotina – K. similis – K. sinclairii – K. spathulata – K. strigosa – K. sulphurea – K. tenuicaulis – K. toelkenii – K. triregensis – K. truncata
Nothospecies: K. x rosea – K. x squarrosa

Kunzea Rchb., Consp. Regn. Veg. [H.G.L.Reichenbach] 175. (1828) nom. cons.

Type species: Kunzea capitata (Smith) Heynh. (1846)


Tillospermum Salisb. in Griffiths, Monthly Rev. 75: 74 (1814) nom. rej. against Kunzea Reichenb., 1828
Pentagonaster Klotzsch, Allg. Gartenzeitung 4: 112 (1836)
Salisia Lindl., Sketch Veg. Swan R.: 10 (1839)
Stenospermum Sweet ex Heynh., Nom. Bot. Hort.: 787 (1841)
Angasomyrtus Trudgen & Keighery Nuytsia 4(3): 435 (1983)

Native distribution areas:

New South Wales, Northern Territory, Queensland, South Australia, Tasmania, Victoria, Western Australia.
New Zealand
New Zealand North, New Zealand South.

References: Brummitt, R.K. 2001. TDWG – World Geographical Scheme for Recording Plant Distributions, 2nd Edition

Reichenbach, H.G.L. 1828. Conspectus Regni Vegetabilis per gradus naturales evoluti. Lipsiae 175.
Chapman, A.D. 1976. Name changes in Kunzea (Myrtaceae). Contributions from Herbarium Australiense 18: 1–2. full article (PDF)
Govaerts, R. et al. 2021. Kunzea in World Checklist of Selected Plant Families. The Board of Trustees of the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew. Published on the internet. Accessed: 2021 Dec. 20. Reference page.
International Plant Names Index. 2016. Kunzea. Published online. Accessed: Dec. 20 2016.
de Lange, P.J., Smissen, R.D., Wagstaff, S.J., Keeling, D.J., Murray, B.G. & Toelken, H.R. 2010. A molecular phylogeny and infrageneric classification for Kunzea (Myrtaceae) inferred from rDNA ITS and ETS sequences. Australian Systematic Botany 23(5): 309–319. DOI: 10.1071/SB10019 Full text PDF from ResearchGate Reference page.
de Lange, P.J. 2014. A revision of the New Zealand Kunzea ericoides (Myrtaceae) complex. PhytoKeys 40: 1–185. DOI: 10.3897/phytokeys.40.7973 Open accessReference page.
Toelken, H.R. 1996. A revision of the genus Kunzea (Myrtaceae) I. The Western Australian section Zeanuk. Journal of the Adelaide Botanic Gardens 17: 29–106. full article (PDF)

Kunzea is a genus of plants in the family Myrtaceae and is endemic to Australasia. They are shrubs, sometimes small trees and usually have small, crowded, rather aromatic leaves. The flowers are similar to those of plants in the genus Leptospermum but differ in having stamens that are longer than the petals. Most kunzeas are endemic to Western Australia but a few occur in eastern Australia and a few are found in New Zealand. The taxonomy of the genus is not settled and is complicated by the existence of a number of hybrids.


Plants in the genus Kunzea are shrubs or small trees, usually with their leaves arranged alternately along the branches. The flowers are arranged in clusters near the ends of the branches, which in some species, continue to grow after flowering. The flowers of most species lack a stalk but those that have one are usually solitary or in groups of two or three. In some species, the flowers are surrounded by enlarged bracts. There are five petals, five sepals and a large number of stamens which are always longer than the petals. The fruit is a usually a woody capsule.[3] Kunzeas are similar to species in other genera of the Myrtaceae, especially Leptospermum but are distinguished from that genus by having stamens that are longer than the petals.[4]
Kunzea phylicoides foliage and fruit
Taxonomy and naming

The first formal description of a kunzea was published in 1828 by Ludwig Reichenbach in his book Conspectus Regni Vegetabilis. Reichenbach referred to three species – K. capitata, K. ericifolia and K. corifolia (now K. ambigua) – but did not nominate a type species.[1][5] In 1981, Hellmut Toelken nominated K. capitata as the type species.[6] Reichenbach named the genus after his "distinguished friend", the German naturalist Gustav Kunze, professor of botany in Leipzig.[5][7] The taxonomy of the genus is not settled and hybrids often occur where two species occur in the same area.[3]

The majority of Kunzea species are endemic to the south-west of Western Australia but there are species in every Australian state and in New Zealand.[2]
Use in horticulture

Some species of Kunzea are suitable for use in gardens. Kunzea ambigua is described as a "handsome shrub which attracts numerous birds and colourful soldier beetles when in flower". A form of this species from southern Victoria reputedly flowers profusely with sprays of scented flowers.[4] Kunzea capitata and K. pulchella are red-flowering species from Western Australia and are described as "indeed outstanding" although they are sometimes difficult to establish in eastern states and need to be grafted onto hardier rootstock.[8]

Sourced from the authoritative Australian Plant Name Index and Australian Plant Census as of January 2017 and the Kew Gardens World Checklist of Selected Plant Families.[1][2]

Kunzea acicularis Toelken & G.F.Craig – WA
Kunzea acuminata Toelken – WA
Kunzea affinis S.Moore – WA
Kunzea amathicola de Lange & Toelken, rawiritoa – NZ
Kunzea aristulata Toelken – NSW
Kunzea ambigua (Sm.) Druce, tick bush – NSW, TAS, VIC
Kunzea axillaris Toelken – NSW
Kunzea badjaensis Toelken – NSW
Kunzea baxteri (Klotzsch) Schauer, scarlet kunzea – WA
Kunzea bracteolata Maiden & Betche – NSW, QLD
Kunzea caduca Toelken – QLD
Kunzea calida F.Muell. – QLD
Kunzea cambagei Maiden & Betche – NSW
Kunzea capitata (Sm.) Heynh., pink kunzea – NSW, QLD
Kunzea ciliata Toelken – WA
Kunzea cincinnata Toelken – WA
Kunzea clavata Toelken – WA
Kunzea dactylota Toelken – NSW
Kunzea ericifolia (Sm.) Rchb. ex Heynh., spearwood, pondil – WA
Kunzea ericoides (A.Rich.) Joy Thomps., manuoea, titira, atitira, kanuka - NZ
Kunzea eriocalyx F.Muell. – WA
Kunzea flavescens C.T.White & W.D.Francis, – QLD
Kunzea glabrescens Toelken, spearwood – WA
Kunzea graniticola Byrnes – QLD
Kunzea jucunda Diels & E.Pritz. – WA
Kunzea juniperoides Toelken – NSW
Kunzea leptospermoides F.Muell. ex Miq, Yarra burgan - VIC
Kunzea linearis (Kirk) de Lange & Toelken, rawiri manuka – NZ
Kunzea micrantha Schauer – WA
Kunzea micromera Schauer – WA
Kunzea montana (Diels) Domin, mountain kunzea – WA
Kunzea muelleri Benth., yellow kunzea – NSW
Kunzea newbeyi Toelken – WA
Kunzea obovata Byrnes – NSW, QLD
Kunzea occidentalis Toelken – NSW
Kunzea opposita F.Muell. – NSW, QLD
Kunzea parvifolia Schauer, violet kunzea – NSW, QLD, VIC
Kunzea pauciflora Schauer – WA
Kunzea peduncularis F.Muell. – VIC
Kunzea petrophila Toelken – NT
Kunzea phylicoides (A.Cunn. ex Schauer) Druce – NSW, VIC
Kunzea pomifera F.Muell., muntries – VIC, SA
Kunzea praestans Schauer – WA
Kunzea preissiana Schauer – WA
Kunzea pulchella (Lindl.) A.S.George, granite kunzea – WA
Kunzea recurva Schauer – WA
Kunzea robusta de Lange & Toelken, manuka, kanuka, kopuka, rawirinui, maru, rauriki – NZ
Kunzea × rosea (Turcz.) Govaerts – WA
Kunzea rostrata Toelken – WA
Kunzea rupestris Blakely – NSW
Kunzea salina (Trudgen & Keighery) Toelken & de Lange – WA
Kunzea salterae de Lange – NZ
Kunzea sericothrix Toelken – QLD
Kunzea serotina de Lange, makahikatoa – NZ
Kunzea similis Toelken – WA
Kunzea sinclairii (Kirk) W.Harris, Great Barrier Island kanuka – NZ
Kunzea spathulata Toelken – WA
Kunzea × squarrosa Turcz. – WA
Kunzea strigosa Toelken & G.F.Craig – WA
Kunzea sulphurea Tovey & P.Morris – WA
Kunzea tenuicaulis de Lange, geothermal kanuka, geothermal kunzea, prostrate kanuka – NZ
Kunzea toelkenii de Lange – NZ
Kunzea triregenis de Lange, Three Kings kanuka – NZ
Kunzea truncata Toelken – QLD


Kunzea pulchella in Maranoa Gardens

Kunzea ericifolia in Mount Barney National Park

Kunzea capitata in the Royal National Park

Kunzea parvifolia in the Mount Buffalo National Park

Kunzea baxteri in Maranoa Gardens


"Kunzea Rchb". APNI. Retrieved 23 November 2016.
"Kunzea Rchb". Royal Botanic Gardens kew. Retrieved 23 November 2016.
Wilson, Peter G. "Genus Kunzea". Royal Botanic Gardens Sydney: plantnet. Retrieved 23 November 2016.
"Kunzea ambigua Tick Bush". Australian National Botanic Gardens. Retrieved 23 November 2016.
Reichenbach, Ludwig (1828). Conspectus Regni Vegetabilis. Leipzig. p. 175. Retrieved 23 November 2016.
Toelken, Hellmu R. (1996). "A Revision of the Genus Kunzea (Myrtaceae) I. The Western Australian Section Zeanuk". Journal of the Adelaide Botanic Garden. 17: 28.
Elliot, Rodger W.; Jones, David L.; Blake, Trevor (1993). Encyclopaedia of Australian Plants Suitable for Cultivation: Volume 6 (K-M). Port Melbourne: Lothian Press. p. 15. ISBN 978-0-85091-589-1.
McCarthy, Norm. "The genus Kunzea". Australian Society for Growing Australian Plants. Retrieved 23 November 2016.

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