Family • Myrtaceae - Callistemon viminalis (Sol. ex Gaertn) G. Don ex Loudon - RINGWORM BUSH

Scientific names

Callistemon viminalis (Sol. ex Gaertn) G. Don ex Loudon
Melaleuca viminalis (Sol. ex Gaertn) Byrnes
Metrosideros viminalis Sol. ex Gaertn

Common names

Bottlebrush (Engl.)
Red bottlebrush (Engl.)
Red cascade (Engl.)
Weeping bottle brush (Engl.)

Other vernacular names

HINDI: Cheel.
MARIPURI: Barap lei.



Bottle brush is a shrub to a small tree, growing to a height of 5 meters, with numerous, long, slender and drooping branches. Leaves are light green, narrow lanceolate, up to 5 centimeters long. Spikes are 7- 8 centimeters long. Flowers are bright red in dense cylindrical spikes.


– Widely cultivated in the Philippines.
– Grows well in Baguio City.
– Native to Australia.

Additional Sources and Suggested Readings

(1) New Insecticidal Tetradecahydroxanthenediones from Callistemon viminalis / Bhupinder P S Khambay et al / J. Nat. Prod., 1999, 62 (12), pp 1666–1667 / DOI: 10.1021/np990056a

(2) Attenuation of Pseudomonas aeruginosa virulence by medicinal plants in a Caenorhabditis elegans model system / Allison Adonizio et al / J Med Microbiol 57 (2008), 809-813; DOI: 10.1099/jmm.0.47802-0

(3) Callistemon viminalis (Sol. ex Gaertn.) G.Don ex Loudon / The Plant LIst

(4) Antioxidant Potential and Oil Composition of Callistemon viminalis Leaves / Muhammad Zubair, Sadia Hassan, Komal Rizwan, Nasir Rasool, Muhammad Riaz, M. Zia-Ul-Haq, and Vincenzo De Feo / The Scientific World Journal, Volume 2013 (2013) /

(5) Studying of antibacterial effect of leaves extract of Callistemon viminalis in vitro and vivo (urinary system) for rabbits / Afrah. J. Abd / Journal of Kerbala University , Vol. 10 No.2 Scientific . 2012

(6) Evaluation of extracts and essential oil from Callistemon viminalis leaves: antibacterial and antioxidant activities, total phenolic and flavonoid contents. / Salem MZ, Ali HM, El-Shanhorey NA, Abdel-Megeed A. / Asian Pac J Trop Med. 2013 Oct;6(10):785-91. doi: 10.1016/S1995-7645(13)60139-X.

(7) Antibacterial and antifungal analysis of crude extracts from the leaves of Callistemon viminalis. / Chenielle Delahaye, Lois Rainford, Alison Nicholson, Sylvia Mitchell, John Lindo, Mohammed Ahmad / Journal of Medical and Biological Sciences, Volume 3, Issue 1, 2009

(8) Molluscicidal Activity of the Methanol Extract of Callistemon viminalis (Sol. ex Gaertner) G.Don ex Loudon Fruits, Bark and Leaves against Biomphalaria alexandrina Snails / Ahmed A Gohar *, Galal T Maatooq, Sahar R Gadara, Walaa S Aboelmaaty and Atef M El-Shazly* / Iranian Journal of Pharmaceutical Research (2014), 13 (2): 505-514

(9) Platelet-Aggregation Inhibitory Activity of Oleanolic Acid, Ursolic Acid, Betulinic Acid, and Maslinic Acid /
Ibrahim T. Babalola, Francis O. Shode*, E. A Adelakun, Andy R.Opoku, Rebamang A. Mosa /Journal of Pharmacognosy and Phytochemistry, Volume 1 Issue 6

(10) Weeping bottle brush / Common names / Flowers of India

– A study in India showed the leaves of Callistemon viminalis yielded an oil: 1,8-Cineole (61.7%), -pinene (24.2%) and menthyl acetate (5.3%) were the major components.
– Study leaves for essential oil yielded 14 compounds, representing 98.94% of the total oil; the major components were 1,8-cineole (64.53%) and α-pinene (9.69%).

• Considered antibacterial, anthelminthic, hemostatic, diuretic.

Parts utilized

– No reported medicinal use in the Philippines.
– Used as diuretic and for relieving problems of the urinary tract. Used by women as douche to cleanse the genitourinary tract from excessive menstruation or mucosal discharge as leukorrhea. Used forurinary incontinence and bed-wetting in children.
– In Jamaica, decoction used as “hot tea” treatment of gastroenteritis, diarrhea, and skin infections

Study Findings
• Anti-quorum sensing: Bacterial intercellular communication or quorum sensing (QS) is believed to control the pathogenesis of many bacterial organisms. C. viminalis is one of several plants studied that showed to possess anti-QS activity, a potential new direction for the treatment of bacterial infections. Extracts of plants, including C viminalis, caused the inhibition of QS genes and QS-controlled factors with marginal effects on bacterial growth, suggesting the quorum-quenching mechanisms are unrelated to static or cidal effects.
• Anthelminthic activity: In veterinary studies: The anthelmintic activity of the essential oils of Callistemon viminalis against earthworms and tapeworms has revealed it to exhibit in vitro efficacy better than piperazine phosphate. The activity of these oils against hookworms was comparable to that of hexyle resorcinol (Garg & Kasera, 1982).
bottlebrush3• Insecticidal: Study yielded two novel epimeric compounds, viminadione A and viminadione B, Viminadione A exhibited moderate insecticidal activity.
• Anti-infective: One of three plants screened for inhibition of opportunistic human pathogen Pseudomonas aeruginosa that showed reduction in toxin production and mortality and suggests a potential for anti-infective development.
• Chemical Composition / Antibacterial: Study on chemical composition and antibacterial activity yielded 12 components from the leaves of CV. The major components were 1,8-cineole and a-pinene. The oils exhibited inhibition against S faecalis, S aureus, B cereus, S marcesens.
• Antioxidant / Essential Oil / Leaves: Study investigated the antioxidant potential and oil composition of leaves. A n-hexane extract yielded 40 compounds, with appreciable levels of total phenolic and total flavonoid contents. A methanolic extract exhibited higher TPC and TFC and scavenging power on DPPH assay.
• Antibacterial / Leaves: Study evaluated water and alcoholic extracts of leaves of C. viminalis in vitro against ten pathogenic bacteria. Results showed antibacterial activity against both Gram positive (Staphylococcus aureus, S. epidermis, Streptococcus pneumonia) and Gram negative bacteria (Klebsiella pneumonia, K. oxytaci, Proteus vulgaricus, Escherichia coli).
• Essential Oil from Leaves / Antibacterial / Antioxidant: Study evaluated leaves for antibacterial and antioxidant activities. Essential oil of leaves yielded 14 compounds. Leaf essential oil exhibited the highest antioxidant activity comparable to gallic acid as standard. Essential oil also showed the highest zone of bacterial inhibition compared to standard tetracycline. Crude methanol extract and EA fraction showed significant antibacterial activity.
• Antimicrobial: Various extracts were tested against eight common bacteria and one fungus. All plant extracts sowed antimicrobial activities against the selected microorganisms; the methanol extract was most effective. The aqueous extract was effective as bactericidal agent against intestinal pathogens.
• Molluscicidal: Methanol extracts of C. viminalis bark and leaves were tested for molluscicidal activity against the vector of schistosomiasis, B. alexandrina snails. C. viminalis fruit extract showed the highest effect against the tested snails. The site of action of all tested extracts was localized in the digestive system and hermaphrodite gland.
• Betulinic Acid / Anti-Platelet Aggregation: Betulinic acid isolated from Callistemon viminalis in combination with oleanolic acid from Syzygium aromaticum showed significant platelet inhibitory activity on epinephrine-induced platelet aggregation.