Mel.quin.JPG (27008 bytes)Melaleuca 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 alternifolia.
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.
Melaleuca quinquenervia 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.