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Bottlebrush Blooming Lovely for Huddersfield Chemist


CALLISTO™, used by maize farmers to control a range of weeds, contains the active ingredient Mesotrione. Synthesised from the roots of the Australian Bottlebrush (Callistemon citrinus), after a plant biologist first noticed the absence of weeds growing under one such plant in his garden. After taking and analysing samples from the soil, he was able to determine the structure of the active component. CALLISTO was made available for use in the northern hemisphere in 2001 and became an important herbicide in corn production throughout the US and New Zealand.


Callistemon citrinus, an ornamental plant, is now popular around the world, with one currently in bloom on the Syngenta Huddersfield site. Our Senior Process Hazards Experimentalist, Linda Young, was heavily involved in the early lab development of Mesotrione back in 2000 and is back working on the same active ingredient today as she investigates its’ thermal stability and gas evolving potential.


What a fitting time for our little red bottlebrush plant to come into bloom! Pictured below is Linda with our Callistemon citrinus splendens in all its glory!