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Broad-leaved Paperbark

Melaleuca quinquenervia

The broad-leaved paperbark is a medium to tall tree. It is the only local Melaleuca species which belongs to a mostly tropical group with larger leaves. As with many (but not all) other Melaleuca species it has whitish papery bark, rather like many fine sheets of tissue paper stuck together, hence the common name.

Melaleuca belongs to the large family Myrtaceae, which includes many of our large and small plants. Members of this family have aromatic oils in their leaves, which in some cases have been used medicinally for thousands of years by Aboriginal people.

Spikes of small cream coloured flowers with conspicuous stamens, which give the spikes a “bottle-brush” appearance, appear predominantly throughout autumn and winter. These are utilised by nectar-feeding birds such as various Honeyeaters and Lorikeets and bats.

The specific name “quinquenervia” is derived from Latin meaning “five-veined” and refers to the veins on the leaves clearly shown in the lower right inset.

Created on ... April 20, 2017