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Melaleuca quinquenervia

Pronunciation: Mel-ah-loo-kah quin-quen-erv-ee-ah
Family: Myrtaceae (myrtle family)
Common Name: Melaleuca, cajeput, punk tree, white bottlebrush tree
Plant Type:
  • trees, shrubs
Height to: 40'
USDA Hardiness Zones:
  • 30 to 20ºF ZONE 9
  • 40 to 30ºF ZONE 10
  • 50 to 40ºF ZONE 11
Sun Exposure:
  • full sun
Bloom Description: The leaves are alternate, simple, leathery, and lance-shaped to 4 in (10. 2 cm) long. They smell like camphor when bruised. The flowers are creamy white and arranged in "bottle brush" spikes up to 6 in (15. 2 cm) long. The fruits are small woody capsules clustered on the twigs. Each capsule contains several hundred tiny seeds.
Propagation: Melaleuca spreads by tiny seeds which are blown on the wind. A single tree can produce 20 million seeds per year, and is capable of releasing them all at once when stressed. Two-year old trees produce seed. Melaleuca resprouts from cut stumps and fire-killed trees resprout from their roots.
Notes for Identification: Melaleuca grows very fast, up to 6 ft (1. 8 m) per year, and produces dense stands that completely shade out all other vegetation and provide little food for wildlife. Melaleuca should not be cultivated and existing trees should be killed. Cut off near the ground and paint the stump with a systemic herbicide such as roundup or garlon. Warningmelaleuca, especially when in bloom, causes respiratory irritation, headache and nausea to some people. Contact with the bark can cause a skin rash. Plant info from: floridata
Located in: Trees, Shrubs
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