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Family Myrtaceae

Callistemon viminalis (Sol. ex Gaertn) G. Don ex Loudon

Scientific names Common names
Callistemon viminalis (Sol. ex Gaertn) G. Don ex Loudon Bottlebrush (Engl.)
Melaleuca viminalis (Sol. ex Gaertn) Byrnes Red bottlebrush (Engl.)
Metrosideros viminalis Sol. ex Gaertn Red cascade (Engl.)
  Weeping bottlebrush (Engl.)
Callistemon viminalis is an accepted name. The Plant List

Other vernacular names
AFRIKAANS: Treur botteborsel.
FINNISH: Norjalamppuharja.
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.

- 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%). (see study below) (11) 
- GC-MS analysis of n-hexane extract of Callistemon viminalis leaves yielded 40 compounds. Major compounds were 2,5,5,6,8a-pentamethyl-trans-4a,5,6,7,8,8a-hexahydro-gamma-chromene (27.60%), (10E,12E)-10,12-tetradecadienyl acetate (11.62%), Z-7-tetradecenal (4.98%), 1,3-cyclohexadiene (3.97%). (see study below) (9)

Considered antibacterial, antifungal, anthelminthic
, hemostatic, diuretic.
• Studies have shown anthelmintic, anti-quorum sensing, insecticidal, anti-infective, antibacterial, molluscicidal, antioxidant, anticancer, anti-inflammatory, anti-platelet aggregation properties.

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 for urinary incontinence and bed-wetting in children. (10)
- In Jamaica, decoction used as "hot tea" treatment of gastroenteritis, diarrhea, and skin infections (11)

• 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. (3)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. (7)
• Anthelmintic 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).
Study yielded two novel epimeric compounds, viminadione A and viminadione B, Viminadione A exhibited moderate insecticidal activity. (5)
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. (6)
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 / Hemolytic Effect / 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 contents (0.27-0.85 GAE mg/g) and total flavonoid contents (2.25-7.96 CE mg/g). A methanolic extract exhibited higher TPC and TFC and scavenging power on DPPH assay. Hemolytic effect of the leaves was found in the range of 1.79-4.95%. (see constituents above) (9)
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 vulgaris, Escherichia coli). (10)
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. (see constituents above) (11)
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.     (12)
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. (13)
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. (14)
• Molluscicidal Activity / Fruit, Bark and Leaves: Study evaluated methanol extracts of C. viminalis fruits, bark and leaves for molluscicidal activity. Fruits, bark, and leaves showed LC50 of 6.2, 32, and 40 ppm, respectively. Fruit extract showed the highest effect against the tested snails. (16)
• Anti-Drepanocytosic Activity / Anti-Sickling: In a study of various plants for anti-drepanocytosic, ethyl acetate crude extracts of C. viminalis showed high antisickling activity. The anti-sickling activity of studied extracts was attributed to betulinic acid, betulinic acid acetate, oleanolic acid, and maslinic acid. (17)
• Antioxidant / Anticancer Activity / Leaves: Study identified antioxidant and anticancer compounds in C. viminalis leaf extracts and its anticancer activity against liver cancer cell lines by inhibiting STAT3 protein. (18)
• Silver Dimer Nanoparticles / Antibacterial: Study reports on the use of aqueous extract of C. viminalis leaves as bioreductant for the synthesis of silver nanoparticles. The antibacterial activity of extract reduced nanoparticles showed antibacterial activity against four strains viz. E. coli, S. aureus, K. pneumonia and S. typhimurium. (19)
• Callistemenonone A / Antimicrobial / Leaves: Study isolated a new acyphloroglucinol including an unprecedented dearomatic dibenzofuran core, callistemenonone A, from the leaves of C. viminalis. The potent exerted potent bactericidal activity against a panel of methicillin resistance pathogenic microbes. (20)
• Anti-Inflammatory / Anticancer / DOR and FT Inhibitors:
DOR (delta-opioid receptors) and FT (farnesyl transferase) inhibitors can obstruct various intracellular pathways affecting inflammation and cell proliferation. Study reports on the in-silico studies of anti-inflammatory and anti-cancerous properties of C. viminalis derived natural compounds viz. α-terpineol, catechin, methyl gallate and ellagic acid. These compounds have shown excellent binding energy and inhibitory constant for DOR and FT. (21)
• Inhibitory Effect on Non-Small Cell Lung Adenocarcinoma / Leaves: Study evaluated the inhibitory effect of C. viminalis crude leaf extract against A549 non-small cell lung adenocarcinoma. All concentrations of the leaf extract inhibited A549 non-small cell lung adenoCA with an IC50 of 23.21 µg/ml with percent inhibition proportional to extract concentration. (22)
• Bunsenite NiO Nanoparticles: Study reports on P-type Bunsenite NiO powders produced via biosynthesis and heat treatment using aqueous extracts from red flowers of C. viminalis. Results suggest a cost effective and environmentally friendly alternative to preparing Nickel oxide nanosized powders with potential for a variety of energy storage applications. (23)
• NiO Nanoparticles / Pseudocapacitor Applications / Flowers: Study reports on a cost-effective and environmentally friendly method of Nickel oxide nanoparticles synthesis using aqueous extracts of flowers from Callistemon viminalis, with potential for a variety of energy storage applications. (24)
• Larvicidal / Repellent / Essential Oil from Leaves: Study evaluated the insecticidal, larvicidal and repellent activity of essential oils from Callistemon viminalis, M. leucadendron, and H. suaveolenss against Chrysodeixis chalcitesss and compared it to neem oil. The essential oil from leaves showed higher biological activity than neem with 100% larval mortality at 2 µg/ml for 6 h. (25)

- Cultivated.

Updated March 2018 / October 2014

Photos © Godofredo Stuart / StuartXchange

Additional Sources and Suggested Readings
Chemical Composition and Antibacterial Activity of the Essential Oils of Callistemon citrinus and Callistemon viminalis from South Africa / Opeoluwa O Oyedeji et al / Molecules 2009, 14, 1990-1998; doi:10.3390/molecules14061990

Essential oil composition of Callistemon viminalis leaves from India / S. K. Srivastava, Ateeque Ahmad, K. V. Syamsunder, K. K. Aggarwal, S. P. S. Khanuja
Inhibition of quorum sensing-controlled virulence factor production in Pseudomonas aeruginosa by South Florida plant extracts / Allision Adonizio et al / Department of Biological Sciences, Department of Molecular Microbiology and Immunology, Florida International University, Miami, Florida 33199 2

Possible Role of Ethnoveterinary Medicine in Poverty Reduction in Pakistan: Use of Botanical Anthelmintics / JOURNAL OF AGRICULTURE & SOCIAL SCIENCES . 1813–2235/2005/01–2–187–195
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
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
Anti-quorum sensing activity of medicinal plants in southern Florida / Allison L. Adonizio, Kelsey Downum, Bradley C. Bennett and Kalai Mathe / Journal of Ethnopharmacology . Vol 105, Issue 3, 24 May 2006, Pages 427-435 / doi:10.1016/j.jep.2005.11.02 /

Callistemon viminalis (Sol. ex Gaertn.) G.Don ex Loudon / The Plant LIst
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) / http://dx.doi.org/10.1155/2013/489071
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
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.
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
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
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
Weeping bottle brush / Common names / Flowers of India
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, Galai T Maatooq, Sahar R Gadara, Walaa Aboelmaaty, and Atef M El-Shazly / Iran J Pharm Res. 2014 Spring; 13(2): pp 505–514.
Phytochemical and anti-drepanocytosis studies of Cajanus cajan, Callistemon viminalis, Melaleuca bracteata var. Revolution Gold and Syzygium guineense. / Tshibangu, Damien Sha-Tshibey. / http://hdl.handle.net/10413/8113
Evaluating anti-oxidant potential of Callistemon viminalis leaves extracts and their compounds in STAT 3 pathway in liver cancer / K Ahmad / Annals of Oncology, Volume 28, Issue suppl_10, 1 November 2017 / https://doi.org/10.1093/annonc/mdx652.013
Extracellular synthesis of silver dimer nanoparticles using Callistemon viminalis (bottlebrush) extract and evaluation of their antibacterial activity / Rahisuddin, Akrema / Thesis
Callistemenonone A, a novel dearomatic dibenzofuran-type acylphloroglucinol with antimicrobial activity from Callistemon viminalis / Yu-Qinq Xiang, Hong-Xin Liu, Li-Yun Zhao, Zhi-Fang Xu, Hai-Bo Tan & Sheng-Xiang Qiu / Scientific Reports, Vol 7, Article no 2363; (2017) / doi:10.1038/s41598-017-02441-5
Pharmacokinetic Evaluation of Callistemon viminalis Derived Natural Compounds as Targeted Inhibitors Against δ -Opioid Receptor and Farnesyl Transferase
/ Ahmad Kamal, Roouf Bhat Abdul, Athar Fareeda Letters in Drug Design & Discovery, Volume 14, Number 4, April 2017, pp. 488-499
The Inhibitory Effect of Callistemon Viminalis (weeping bottle brush) Crude Leaf Extract Against A549 Non-Cell Lung Adenocarcinoma. / Abdusattar T Abduraup, Carmela P Alcos, Chrmia Kim G Balansag, Pearl Niza Angeli A Benigno, Kristine Hope Y Cabigon et al / Thesis, April 2015 / Cebu Institute of Medicine
Physica l & Electrochemical Properties o f Green Synthesized Bun senite NiO Nanoparticles v ia Callistemon Viminalis’’ Extracts / B.T. Sone, X.G. Fuku, M. Maaza** / Int. J. Electrochem. Sci. 11 ( 2016 ) 8204 – 8220 / doi: 10.20964/2016.10.17
Green synthesis of NiO nanoparticles using Callistemon viminalis’ extracts & their potential for psuedocapacitor applications / B T Sone, X G Fuku and M Maaza / J Nanomed Nanotechnol / 7th World Nano Conference, June 20-21, 2016 Cape Town, South Africa
Larvicidal activity of Neem oil and three plant essential oils from Senegal against Chrysodeixis chalcites(Esper, 1789) / Saliou Ngom, Raimundo Cabrera Perez, Ma Anta Mbow, Rokhaya Fall, Saliou Niassy, Andreea Cosoveanu, Serigne Mbacke Diop, El Hadji Barka Ndiaye, Moussoukhove Diop, Georges Lognay / Asian Pacific Journal of Tropical Biomedicine (2016); Vol 8, Issue 1: pp 67-72 / DOI:10.4103/2221-1691.221140


  1. Garg, S.C., Kasera, H.L. Anthelmintic activity of Callistemon viminalis. Fitoterapia. 1982;LIII:179–181.


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