melaleuca Myrtaceae Melaleuca
quinquenervia (Cav.) S.F. Blake symbol: MEQU
Leaf: Alternate, simple, evergreen, broadly lanceolate or narrowly elliptical, to 5 inches, parallel veined, yellow-green to gray-green above and below, borne on a short petiole.
Flower: Species is monoecious, white, with numerous long stamens; borne in showy 1 to 3 inch bottlebrush-like spikes at the branch tips; capable of flowering year-round.
Fruit: Seeds are tiny, borne in sessile short cylindrical woody capsules; up to 30 capsules on a spike. Seeds are generally not released at maturity, but are heavily shed in response to a disturbance.
Twig: Slender, red-brown, aging to gray-brown.
Bark: Very distinctive, gray to chalk-white with reddish-brown, layered, and shreddy/peeling; notably corky or spongy and thick.
Form: Generally upright, to 80 feet but usually small trees that often form dense stands.
Looks like: flaxleaf paperbark - bottlebrush tree
Additional Range Information: Melaleuca quinquenervia is planted in the USDA hardiness zones shown above and may seed into the landscape. See states reporting melaleuca.
External Links: USDA Plants Database - Horticulture Information - USDAFS Forest Products Lab
All material © 2017 Virginia Tech Dept. of Forest Resources and Environmental Conservation; Photos and text by: John Seiler, Edward Jensen, Alex Niemiera, and John Peterson