Melaleuca bracteata: is a member of the Myrtaceae family and is widely distributed with populations in
Queensland, New South Wales, South Australia, Western Australiaand the Northern Territory. One common name is Black Tea Tree and probably refers to the dark grey, fissured bark.
Melaleuca bracteata is a variable species. Some populations are rounded shrubs about two metres high, whilst others develop into trees about 15 metres tall.
The leaves are dark green, oval in shape and scattered along the branches. Each leaf has a sharp point. Flowers are white, carried in clusters on or near the ends of branches. Flowering occurs between August and November.
Melaleuca bracteata usually grows along water courses and may dominate stream-side vegetation.
The species is usually too large for suburban gardens but would be a useful addition to the landscaping of rural properties and public parks. Apparently there is a shrubby form from the
Kimberleyarea in Western Australia. This form retains its small stature in cultivation.
A number of cultivars are available commercially. “Revolution Gold” and “Revolution Green” are both bushy shrubs.
One authority has written that Melaleuca bracteata has flowers that are not “particularly showy”. We disagree with this criticism. On a trip to the northwest of
New South Waleswe were impressed by a population of tall Black Tea Trees covered in flowers growing beside a watercourse. We were so impressed that we pulled up, took photos and cuttings. This population, of Melaleuca bracteata, is eye-catching when in flower (see image).
Propagate from seed and cuttings.