Monday, March 1, 2010

Myrtacceae Family

This article is still not complete, however I have already included most species from Australia and New Zealand, many of which are commonly planted in mild regions around the globe. A few additional genuses within the family, such as Chamelaucium, Feijoa & Myrtus will be posted soon.

MELALEUCA
A genus of close to 220 species of fast growing, evergreen trees and shrubs that are related to the Melalauca. They are mostly related to Australia, though some native to far southeast Asia.
Melaleuca's prefer full sun to partial shade on acidic, well drained soil.
They are tolerant of urban pollution and most are moderately tolerant of seashore exposure. Clipping after blooming is finished is recommended for shrub species, increasing their density and vigor. Fertilizing is also recommended after blooming.
Propagation is from cuttings or seed.

* photo of unknown internet source


Melaleuca acerosa
A globular shrub, reaching a maximum size of 5 x 5 feet, that is native to Western Australia.
The soft-pointed, needle-like leaves, up to 0.6 inches in length, are gray-green.
The fragrant, creamy-yellow flowers are borne on dense, globular heads, spring into early summer.
Hardy zones 9 to 11 in full sun on just about any well drained soil.

Melaleuca alternifolia ( Tea Tree )
A moderate growing, evergreen small tree, reaching a maximum size of 25 x 20 feet, that is native to swampy habitats in subtropical parts of eastern Australia.
The narrow leaves, up to 1.7 inches in length, are mid-green.
The abundant, white flowers are borne on loose spikes during late spring.
The papery bark is whitish.
It is valued from a medicinal oil that is extracted from the leaves.
Hardy zones 9 to 11 ( tolerating as low as 17 F ) in full sun on moist, well drained soil. Flood tolerant.

* photo of unknown internet source


Melaleuca armillaris ( Bracelet Honey Myrtle )
Also called Drooping Melaleuca. A very fast growing, spreading, evergreen small tree, reaching a maximum size of 36 x 42 feet, that is native to coastal southeast Australia. Some records include: largest on record - trunk diameter of 5 feet.
The narrow leaves, up to 1.7 inches in length, are deep green.
The white flowers are borne on cylindrical spikes, up to 2 inches in length, during late spring and summer.
Hardy zones 8 to 11. Tolerates wet soil.

Melaleuca bracteata ( River Tea Tree )
An evergreen small tree, reaching a maximum size of 33 x 20 feet.
The linear leaves, up to 1 inch in length, are bright green.
The flowers are borne on spikes
Hardy zones 9 to 11, tolerating as low as 17 F

'Golden Gem'
Reaches up to 6 feet, with foliage that is intense golden-yellow at first, before turning to green.

'Revolution Gold'
Bushy and upright in habit, reaching a maximum height of 12 feet.
The foliage is golden-yellow.
The young stems are red.

'Revolution Green'
Bushy and upright in habit, reaching a maximum height of 12 feet.
The foliage is bright green.

Melaleuca calothamnoides
A very ornamental, erect, evergreen, medium-sized shrub, reaching a maximum size of 10 x 3 feet, that is native to Western Australia.
The densely arranged, linear leaves are green.
The green, orange and red multicolor flowers are borne on spikes coming from old wood during late spring.
Hardy zones 9 to 11 in full sun on well drained soil. Prune frequently for good form.

Melaleuca citrina
A rare, very attractive, arching, evergreen, medium-sized shrub, reaching a maximum size of 12 x 12 feet, that is native to Western Australia.
The crowded, narrow leaves are green.
The bright yellow flowers are borne on oblong spikes, up to 1.3 inches in length, during spring.
Hardy zones 9 to 11 in full sun to partial shade on well drained soil.

Melaleuca coccinea ( Goldfields Bottlebrush )
An erect evergreen shrub, reaching a maximum size of 9 x 5 feet, that is native to Western Australia.
The paired, recurved, ovate leaves, up to 1 inch in length, are green.
The scarlet-red flowers are borne on bottlebrush spikes, up to 3 inches in length, during late spring and summer.
Hardy zones 9 to 11 in full sun on very well drained soil. Very drought tolerant.
Prune frequently for dense habit.

Melaleuca cuticularis ( Saltwater Paperbark )
A twisted, spreading, evergreen small tree, reaching a maximum size of 54 x 45 ( rarely half that ) feet, that is native to flood plains in southwestern Australia. Some records include: largest on record - trunk diameter of 3.3 feet.
The leaves, up to 0.4 inches in length, are green.
The abundant, fragrant, creamy-white flowers are borne on small spikes during spring and occasionally during the rest of the year.
The papery bark is showy and white.
Hardy zones 9 to 11, tolerating swampy sites and flooding but also temporary drought.

* historic archive photo


Melaleuca dealbata
A evergreen tree, reaching a maximum size of 90 feet with a trunk diameter of 5 feet.
The leaves, up to 5 x 1 inches, are green.
The flowers are borne on spikes
Hardy zones 9 to 11

Melaleuca decora ( White Cloud Tree )
A evergreen, bushy, small tree, reaching a maximum size of 40 x 50 feet, that is native to swamps in southeastern Australia. Some records include: largest on record - 70 x 67 feet with a trunk diameter of 8 feet at an age of 132 years.
The alternately arranged, linear leaves, up to 0.7 inches in length, are green.
The white flowers are borne on terminal bottlebrush-spikes, during late spring into early summer.
The papery bark is whitish.
Hardy zones 9 to 11 in full sun on just about any fertile soil, tolerating flooding and clay.

Melaleuca decussata ( Lilac Melaleuca )
A fast growing, evergreen large shrub, reaching a maximum size of 20 x 20 feet.
Some records include: fastest growth rate - 3 feet.
The paired, linear leaves, up to 0.7 inches, are blue-green.
The purplish-pink flowers are borne on spikes, up to 1 inch in length, during late spring and less abundantly during summer.
Hardy zones 9 to 11, tolerating as low as 20 F. Tolerates temporary flooding.

* historic archive photo


Melaleuca diosmifolia ( Dotted Melaleuca )
A low branched, dense evergreen shrub, reaching a maximum size of 12 x 10 feet, that is native to far southwestern Australia.
The ovate leaves, up to 0.5 x 0.1 inches, are bright green. The leaves are crowded and spirally arranged around the stem.
The yellow-green flowers are borne on oblong, dense, terminal spikes, up to 2 inches in length, during late spring and summer.
Hardy zones 9 to 11, ( tolerating as low as 19 F ) in full sun on just about any well drained soil. It prefers climates that are warm but not quite tropical. Drought tolerant.

Melaleuca elliptica ( Crimson Melaleuca )
A fast growing, open, erect, rounded, evergreen small tree, reaching a maximum size of 20 x 17 feet, that is native to far southwestern Australia. Some records include: fastest growth rate - 3 feet.
The leathery, elliptic to rounded leaves, up to 0.7 inches, are gray-green.
The red flowers are densely borne on cylindrical spikes, up to 4 inches in length, during late spring and summer.
The shredded bark is brown.
Hardy zones 9 to 11 ( tolerating as low as 20 F ) in full sun on just about any well drained soil. Prune frequently to encourage dense habit. Tolerates extended drought.

Melaleuca ericifolia ( Heath Melaleuca )
Also called Swamp Paperbark. A fast growing, suckering, evergreen small tree, reaching a maximum size of 40 x 30 feet, that is native to coastal southeast Australia. It may form thickets and even become invasive on some sites.
The linear leaves, up to 1 inch in length, are deep green.
The fragrant, creamy-white flowers are borne on dense spikes, up to 1 inch in length, at the stem tips, late spring and summer.
The papery bark is gray.
Hardy zones 8 to 11. Tolerates flooding and swampy conditions.

Melaleuca erubescens
Also called Melaleuca diosmatifolia.
A spreading, evergreen shrub, reaching a maximum size of 10 x 10 feet.
The aromatic, linear leaves, up to 0.5 inches in length, are bright green, later turning to deep green.
The bright purplish-pink flowers are borne on dense spikes, up to 2 inches in length, late spring and summer.
Hardy zones 9 to 11. Flood tolerant.

Melaleuca fulgens ( Scarlet Honey Myrtle )
An erect evergreen shrub, reaching a maximum size of 10 x 9 feet, that is native to Western Australia. Some records include: 8 years - 5 x 6 feet. It is frequently grown as a landscape plant.
The linear leaves, up to 1.3 inches in length, are green.
The scarlet-red ( less commonly deep pink or orange ) flowers are borne on spikes, up to 2 x 1.5 inches in size.
Hardy zones 9 to 11 on very well drained soil. Moderately drought tolerant.

subsp 'steedmanii'
Similar except the leaves are obobovate in shape.

Melaleuca genistifolia
An erect tree, reaching a maximum height of 50 feet, bearing greenish flowers.

Melaleuca gibbosa ( Slender Honey Myrtle )
A dense, spreading, weeping, medium-sized, evergreen shrub, reaching a maximum size of 12 x 6 feet, that is native to much of southeast Australia.
The paired, ovate leaves, up to 0.3 inches in length, are green.
The purplish-pink flowers are borne on short spikes, late spring through summer.
Hardy zones 8 to 11. Native to moist habits, it is not drought tolerant and will need irrigation during long dry periods. Prune frequently to encourage dense habit.

Melaleuca halmaturum ( Salt Paperbark )
A small tree. Some records include: largest on record - 28 x 43 feet with a trunk diameter of 3 feet. It is moderately long-lived, persisting up to 150 years.

Melaleuca huegelii ( Chenille Honey Myrtle )
A erect to spreading, evergreen large shrub to small tree, reaching a maximum size of 27 x 20 feet, that is native to the coast of Western Australia.
The spirally arranged, tiny leaves are green.
The white flowers are borne on narrow, cylindrical spikes, up to 5 inches in length, during late spring through mid summer.
Hardy zones 9 to 11. Highly tolerant of salt breezes making it an excellent windbreak plant near the sea. Flood tolerant.

* historic archive photo


Melaleuca hypericifolia
A fast growing, semi-weeping, speading, large evergreen shrub, reaching a maximum size of 20 x 15 feet, that is native to southeast Australia.
The oppositely arranged, oblong leaves, up to 1.7 inches in length, are green, turning to reddish-bronze during winter..
The stunning, orange-red flowers are borne on cylindrical spikes, up to 3 inches in length. The flowers are borne late spring through mid summer.
Hardy zones 9 to 11. Tolerant of salt breezes and wet soil.

Melaleuca incana ( Gray Honey Myrtle )
A fast growing, dense, weeping, evergreen shrub, reaching a maximum size of 18 x 18 feet, that is native to far southwestern Australia.
Some records include: 5 years - 7 x 7 feet.
The linear leaves, up to 0.5 inches in length, are lightly hairy and gray-green.
The abundant, creamy-yellow flowers are borne on terminal spikes, up to an inch wide, during early spring and lasting into mid summer.
Hardy zones 9 to 11 preferring moist to wet soil.

Melaleuca lanceolata ( Black Tea Tree )
A very dense, bushy, rounded, evergreen small tree, reaching up to 40 x 40 feet, that is native to dry regions in southern Australia.
Some records include: largest on record - 50 x 47 feet with a trunk diameter of 6.3 feet. Very long-lived, it can persist up to 320 years.
The pointed, linear leaves, up to 0.8 inches in length, are very deep green.
The white flowers are borne on short spikes, up to 2 inches in length, during summer.
Hardy zones 9 to 11. Wind resistant.

Melalauca lateritia ( Robin Redbreast Bush )
A multi-stemmed shrub, reaching a maximum size of 13 x 12 feet, that is native to Western Australia.
The aromatic, linear leaves, up to 1 inch in length, are bright green.
The orange-red flowers are borne on spikes up to 4 inches in length, profusely during spring and summer and randomly for the remainder of the year.
Hardy zones 9 to 11, tolerant of heat, drought and flooding.
Prune frequently to encourage new growth and compact dense habit.

Melaleuca leucadendra ( Cajeput )
A pendulous, spreading large tree, native to tropical northern Australia. Some records include: 6 months - 6.5 feet; 2 years - 18 feet; largest on record - 142 x 68 feet with a trunk diameter of 8.9 feet. It is long-lived, persisting up to 300 years.
The curved, lance-shape leaves, up to 9 x 1.5 inches, are green.
The abundant, creamy-white flowers are borne on spikes, up to 6 inches in length, during fall and winter. In areas where this tree is overly abundant, people with allergies may experience respiratory problems during bloom season.
The attractive papery bark is either pale brown or white.
Hardy zones 10 to 12 thriving on moist to wet soils in subtropic to tropical climates. Tolerates salt and up to 2 months of submersion in water. Considered an extreme invasive weed in the Florida Everglades where seedlings as tall as 6.5 feet, may be as dense as 1.4 million per acre. Stumps sprout readily and broken branches that fall may even root and grow. Seedlings 8 inches of less in height are killed by fire, which is sometimes used as a means of control.

* historic archive photo


Melaleuca lineariifolia ( Flax-Leafed Paperbark )
A moderately long-lived ( 130+ years ), fast growing, spreading, evergreen, medium-size tree, reaching a maximum size of 80 x 40 feet with a trunk diameter of 7 feet, that is native to eastern Australia.
The linear leaves, up to 1.5 inches in length, are deep green.
The profuse, white flowers are borne on spikes, up to 2 inches in length.
The papery bark is white.
Hardy zones 9 to 11, tolerating as low as 17 F. Flood tolerant.

'Snowstorm'
Low growing, reaching a maximum size of 6 x 5 feet.
Very heavy flowering.

Melaleuca megacaphala
A handsome, bushy shrub, reaching a maximum size of 10 x 12 feet, that originates from Western Australia.
The broadly-ovate leaves, up to 1 inch in length, are deep green.
The showy, yellow flowers are borne on rounded, terminal clusters, up to 1.5 inches across, during spring.
Hardy zones 9 to 111 in mild temperate to Mediterranean climates that are not humid during summer.

Melaleuca micromera
A twisted, dense, spreading, evergreen shrub, reaching a maximum size of 17 feet, that is native to Western Australia. Some records include: 8 years - 5 x 6.6 feet.
The foliage resembles that of Erica - Heather.
The profuse, pale yellow flowers are borne on rounded, terminal clusters late spring into early summer.
Hardy zones 9 to 11

Melaleuca minutifolia
A evergreen small tree, reaching a maximum size of 33 x 33 feet, that is native to sandstone in western Australia.
The leaves, up to inches, are green.
The flowers are borne on spikes
Hardy zones 10 to 11

Melaleuca nesophila ( Showy Honey Myrtle )
Also called Western Tea-Myrtle or Pink Melaleuca. A fast growing, bushy, evergreen tree, reaching a maximum size of 35 x 30 feet, that is native to far southwestern Australia. Requires training at a young age to develop good form.
The leathery, oval or oblong leaves, up to 1.5 inches, are deep green.
The rose-pink flowers are borne on rounded, terminal clusters, up to 1.3 inches across, lasting up to 5 months from spring into early summer, sometimes repeating later in the year. Blooming begins at about 3 years.
The bark attractively peels.
Hardy zones 9 to 11, possibly hardy in zone 8, preferring full sun on acidic, well drained soil. It does not like alkaline soil or nitrogen fertilizer. Tolerates desert heat, drought, pure sand, salt spray and flooding. A great plant for the seashore in Mediterranean climates.

Melaleuca nodosa
An attractive, evergreen small tree, reaching a maximum size of 23 x 8 feet, that is native to Australia's east coast.
The narrow leaves, up to 1.7 inches in length, are deep green.
The profuse, bright yellow flowers are borne on rounded heads, late spring into early summer.
Hardy zones 9 to 11. It is not drought tolerant and will need irrigation during extended dry periods.

Melaleuca preissiana ( Stout Paperbark )
A small to medium-sized, evergreen tree, reaching a maximum size of 50 x 30 feet with a trunk diameter of 4 feet. It is native to southwestern Australia.
The narrowly-elliptical leaves are up to 0.6 x 0.1 inches in size.
The flowers are white.

Melaleuca quinquenervia ( Broad-Leafed Paperbark )
A evergreen shrub, reaching a maximum size of 130 x 40 feet with a trunk diameter of 6.5 feet, that is native to eastern Australia, New Guinea and New Caledonia. Some records include: fastest growth rate - 6 feet.
The leathery, lance-shaped leaves, up to 8 x 1.5 inches, are green.
The creamy-white flowers are borne on spikes, up to 3 inches in length, profusely during spring, randomly the remainder of the year. In areas where this tree is overly abundant, people with allergies may experience respiratory problems during bloom season.
The showy, thick, papery bark is creamy-white.
The rot resistant wood makes an excellent long lasting mulch.
Hardy zones 9 to 11. Flood tolerant. Do not plant in south Florida where it has escaped into the wild damaging natural habitat.

Melaleuca radula ( Graceful Honey Myrtle )
An open, spreading, evergreen shrub, reaching a maximum size of 10 x 6 feet, that is native to Western Australia.
The linear leaves, up to 2 inches in length, are green.
The pink or purple flowers are borne on spikes, up to 2 inches in length, during winter or spring.
Hardy zones 8 to 11 in full sun on very well drained soil. Prefers a warm climate.

Melaleuca rhaphiophylla ( Swamp Paperbark )
A evergreen tree, reaching a maximum size of 50 x 25 feet, that is native to Western Australia. It is long-lived, persisting up to 200 years. Some records include: largest on record - 52 x 45 feet with a trunk diameter of 6.4 feet.
The leaves, up to 2 x 0.1 inches in size, are bright green.
The white flowers are borne on spikes
Hardy zones 9 to 11. Flood tolerant.

Melaleuca spathulata
An attractive, small evergreen shrub, reaching a maximum size of 6.5 x 5 feet, that is native to far southwestern Australia.
The tiny, obovate leaves, up to 0.4 inches, are green.
The purplish-pink flowers are borne on terminal globular clusters, up to an inch across, during spring and early summer.
Hardy zones 9 to 11 on either sand or very well drained soil. Prune after blooming is finished.

Melaleuca squarrosa ( Scented Paperbark )
A evergreen small tree, reaching a maximum size of 50 x 33 feet, that is native to southeastern Australia.
The oppositely arranged, broadly-ovate leaves, up to 0.6 x 0.3 inches, are deep green.
The profuse, sweetly fragrant, creamy-yellow flowers are borne on cylindrical terminal spikes, up to 1.5 inches in length, during spring and summer.
The papery bark is light brown.
Hardy zones 8 to 11 in full sun on consistantly moist to wet soil.

Melaleuca styphelioides ( Prickly Paperbark )
A very fast growing, very dense, medium-sized, evergreen tree, reaching a maximum size of 80 x 55 feet with a trunk diameter of 3.5 feet. It is native to eastern Australia. It is moderately short-lived, rarely exceeding 100 years.
The drooping, twisted, pointed, ovate leaves, up to 1 inches, are luxuriant green.
The abundant, white flowers are borne on bottlebrush spikes throughout the summer.
The papery bark is beige.
Hardy zones 9 to 11 ( tolerating as low as 20 F ) preferring wet to swampy conditions.

Melaleuca suberosa ( Corkbark Honey Myrtle )
A low spreading, evergreen shrub, reaching a maximum size of 2 x 4 feet, that is native to far southwestern Australia.
The alternately arranged, very small, linear leaves are gray-green.
The profuse, purple flowers are borne on clusters during late winter and early spring. The flowers are borne on older wood.
The branches are corky.
Hardy zones 9 to 11. Flood tolerant.

Melaleuca tamariscina ( Weeping Bottlebrush )
A semi-weeping, evergreen small tree, reaching a maximum size of 27 x 10 feet, that is native to drier parts of Queensland.
The crowded, stem-clasping, tiny, ovate leaves are green.
The profuse, white, bright pink or purplish-pink flowers are borne on terminal spikes during late winter and spring.
The papery bark is pale brown.
Hardy zones 9 to 11

Melaleuca tereti
A evergreen shrub, reaching a maximum size of 17 feet, that is native to Western Australia.
The leaves, up to 2 inches, are green.
The white flowers are borne on spikes, up to 2 inches in length.
Hardy zones 9 to 11. Flood tolerant.

Melaleuca thymifolia ( Thyme Honey Myrtle )
A moderate growing, evergreen large shrub, reaching a maximum size of 20 x 10 feet, that is native to moist habitats in eastern Australia. Some records include: 10 years - 5 x 10 feet.
The densely-arranged, narrowly-elliptic leaves, up to 0.6 inches in length, are green.
The purplish-pink flowers are borne on clusters, up to 1.5 inches across. The flowers are borne on older wood.
Hardy zones 8 to 11 in full sun on moist soil. Drought tolerant.

'Cotton Candy'
Similar with bright pink flowers.

'White Lace'
Similar with white flowers.

Melaleuca uncinata ( Broom Honey Myrtle )
A multi-stem, erect, evergreen shrub, reaching a maximum size of 18 x 12 feet, that is a widespread native to drier parts of southern Australia.
The needle-like leaves, up to 2 inches in length, are green.
The bright yellow flowers are borne on small, globular clusters during winter and spring.
The papery bark is gray.
Hardy zones 9 to 11, tolerating as low as 17 F.

Melaleuca viridiflora ( Broad-Leafed Paperbark )
A spreading to weeping, medium-size, evergreen tree, reaching a maximum size of 80 x 50 feet with a trunk diameter of 1 foot, that is native to swamps and floodplains of tropical northern Australia.
The broad elliptical leaves, up to 9 x 2.5 inches, are green.
The very fragrant, greenish-yellow flowers are borne on cylindrical spikes, up to 4 inches in length, from late spring through early fall.
Hardy zones 10 to 12. Tolerates wet clay.

Melaleuca wilsonii
A fast growing, dense, evergreen shrub, reaching a maximum size of 10 x 12 feet, that is native to southern Australia.
The leaves, up to 0.6 inches, are green.
The red flowers are borne on spikes, up to 1 inch in length.
Hardy zones 9 to 11. Tolerates as little as 16 inches of rainfall in a year.

MYRTEOLA

Myrteola nummularia
A very attractive, delicate-looking, creeping evergrreeen shrub, reaching up to 6 inches x 3 feet, that is native to the far southern tip of South American.
The stems self-root as they trail.
The aromatic leaves are small.
The pure white flowers are borne during summer.
They are followed by showy, edible, pinkish-white berries that are larger than the leaves. This plant is self-fertile.
The stems are wiry and slender.
Hardy zones 7a ( tolerating as low as 0 F ) in partial shade on fertile, humus-rich soil that is moist during summer.

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