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Scale bar 10mm. Copyright CSIRO
10th leaf stage. Copyright CSIRO
Cotyledon stage, epigeal germination. Copyright CSIRO
Leaves and Flowers. Copyright CSIRO
Melaleuca leucadendra (L.) L.
Linnaeus, C. von (1767) Mantissa Plantarum: 105. Type: ?.
Myrtus leucadendra L., Species Plantarum ed 2: 676(1767), Type: Lecto Rumphius Herbarium Amboinensis, 2:72, t. 16. ( the figure and description). Fide Blake. Contr. Queensland Herb. 1:17 (1968).
Paperbark; White Tea Tree; Weeping Teatree; Weeping Tea Tree; Weeping Paperbark; Swamp Tea Tree; River Cadjeput; Paperbark Tree; Paperbark Tea Tree; Cajeput; Cajaput Tree; Butterscotch Paperbark; Brown Tea Tree; Big White Paperbark; Broad-leaved Tea Treee
Bark white or pale. Dead bark layered.
Leaf blades more than seven times as long as wide, about 11.5-17 x 0.8-2.1 cm, with five longitudinal veins more prominent than the rest. Pale papery bark usually visible on the larger twigs but not often on the leafy twigs. Young shoots and twigs clothed in white or silver, prostrate hairs.
Inflorescences about 25-30 mm wide. Flowers usually in threes. Stamens about 10-24 mm long, +/- fused in five bundles opposite the petals. Flowers have a strong sweet odour.
Distribution and Ecology
Occurs in WA, NT, CYP, NEQ and southwards as far as coastal central Queensland. Altitudinal range from sea level to 700 m. Grows as a rheophyte along the creeks and rivers of northern Australia, also found in beach forest, swampy rain forest and gallery forest. Also occurs in the Moluccas and New Guinea.
A large tree often planted in parks and as a street tree. It will withstand very moist and saline conditions. The numerous pendant cream bottle brush flowers attract a wide variety of birds and Flying Foxes.