quinquenervia: is a member of the
Myrtaceae family and is known as the Broad-leaved Paperbark. It is a small to
medium tree with large leaves and papery bark. The bark is used in bark
paintings. Aboriginal people used the bark for wrapping and cooking food. They
also used an infusion of the leaves as a treatment for coughs and colds. This
latter use foreshadows the recent popularity of Teatree Oil for medicinal
purposes. Teatree Oil is distilled from the leaves of Melaleuca
The bottlebrush-shaped flowers are creamy white or greenish cream. There
is also a red flowering form. We think that this form may have be given
species status. Flowering occurs in autumn and winter with sporadic flowering
at other times. The blooms attract nectar feeding birds and also flying foxes.
The Broad-leaved Paperbark is tolerant of both dry and very wet conditions.
The species often grows in pure stands in wetlands along coastal Queensland
and New South Wales. Melaleuca quinquenervia also occurs in New
Guinea and perhaps New Caledonia.
The Broad-leaved Paperbark is said to be frost tolerant. We have not yet
cultivated the species at Yallaroo.
is grown as a street tree and could be cultivated as a specimen tree or as a
component of shelterbelts and windbreaks.
The Broad-leaved Paperbark is not highly thought of in Florida, USA
where it has become an environmental weed. “Punk Tree” is its derogatory
name in Florida.
Propagate from seed and cuttings.