Ceratopetalum Johanna's Christmas is a dwarf form of the NSW Christmas Bush (Ceratopetalum gummiferum) growing to around 1.5m high and much the same wide.
This unique dwarf form was originally collected in February1969 by Don Blaxell of Sydney Botanic Gardens, just south of Evans Head at Chinaman's Beach near the Queensland border. It would seem this particular form had been growing where Don found it, just above the high-water mark on sand dunes for some unknown period, exposed to wind and salt spray with possibly generations following the same dwarfing genetic program.
Some foliage was collected by Don and a few plants were propagated by cutting.
Some little time later upon another visit to the site it was discovered it had been cleared of vegetation as part of a rutile mining operation. Other nearby locations were inspected but this unique form had not been repeated.
It was fortunate indeed that some plants were propagated from the material originally collected and now, over 50 years later the progeny remains true to the original plants growing there. Needless to say, propagation must be by cutting and not seed if the particular dwarfing genetic quality is to be reliably reproduced.
On 11 January, 2001 Brian & Carol Roach registered this very special plant with the Australian Cultivar Registration Authority (ACRA 902) and gave it the name Ceratopetalum Johanna's Christmas after one of their daughters. Brian had received a plant in the early 1980s and for some years he continued to propagate it by cutting in very limited numbers before well-known gardening identity, Angus Stewart became involved along with Ramm Botanicals in attempting to propagate the plant in commercial numbers, including unsuccessful trials with tissue culture. Then increased success with cuttings led to a period of four and a half year's propagation and distribution by Ramm Botanicals (2012-2016) until that company withdrew. Brian & Carol, through their small native plant nursery, Westleigh Native Plants then resumed propagation and distribution activities. As at July, 2020 plants are available in 6"/140mm pots for $18 each or 3 for $50. Tube stock has been supplied within the industry and some retail outlets may have plants from time to time. For more information contact Brian Roach on 0418115630 or at