Kunzea is a genus of about 40 species of shrubs and small trees in the family Myrtaceae, native to Australia and New Zealand. Kunzea flowers are arranged in clusters and have five petals, five sepals and a large number of stamens. The flowers which are rich in nectar attract beneficial insects and nectar loving birds.
The genus was named after German botanist Gustav Kunze (1793-1851).
Kunzea represents power and pure energy.
Interesting facts about Kunzea:
Kunzea ambigua, also known as Tick Bush or Poverty Bush, is commonly found growing on the coastal strip and adjacent plateaus of eastern Australia. Essential oil from the Kunzea ambigua has been used for treatment of eczema, skin rashes, muscular aches, arthritis and rheumatism. It has also been proposed as a potential mosquito repellent.
Kunzea is closely related to other genera such as Leptospermum, Metrosideros, Callistemon and Melaleuca.
Many Kunzea species were previously classified as members of other genera.
Kunzea ericoides, also known as kanuka, is a shrub or small tree endemic to New Zealand that produced small, scented leaves and showy white flowers. It invades abandoned pasture and native forests and proceeds to out-compete other trees and shrubs.
Kanuka looks very similar to Manuka (Leptospermum scoparium), but grows much taller. They are also differences in the flowers and seed capsules. Both these species are widespread and common throughout New Zealand. Early settlers regarded them as weeds that undid all of their hard work. They would burn them in order to clear land for pasture. Today, Kanuka and Manuka are much appreciated and provide an important source of pollen and nectar for native bees, beetles and geckos.