09 Sep

Lovely Foliage and Flowering Trees: Melaleuca

Melaleuca is a genus of evergreen shrubs and small trees from Australia. The genus is known for its horticultural use as well as medicinal effects and soothing properties.

Melaleuca are popular ornamental plants in tropical or sub-tropical climates where they are grown for their vibrant foliage and attractive flowers. The foliage is usually fragrant, the trunk has silvery bark, and the flowers that resemble the blooms of Callistemon are white, yellow, pink or red.

Melaleuca tree

Melaleuca tree/ Image by Tatiana Gerus

How to Grow Melaleuca

The plants in the genus of Melaleuca vary greatly in their size. Some species grow as shrubs that grow up to 3 – 5 meters whereas some of the species grow into small trees that can gain the height of 6 – 8 meters. Melaleucas can be grown easily from seeds or cuttings. They prefer sunny exposure, a well drained soil and regular watering.

Popular species of Melaleuca include:

M. nesophylla (Tea Myrtle) – Small tree (up to 6 meters) with spongy bark and pompon shapes flowers of pink color.

M. lanceolata – Clustering shrub (up to 5 meters) with small and narrow leaves. White flowers resembling bottle brush appear in summer and attract a lot of birds and butterflies.

M. huegelii (Honey Myrtle) – Evergreen shrub (up to 3 meters) with dense clusters of spiky flowers of white or pink color.

M. trichophylla – Small spreading shrub with globular clusters of pink, reddish pink or purple flowers in late winter to early summer.

M. lateritia – Commonly known as the Robin Red-breast Bush, M. lateritia grows as an erect shrub (up to 2 meters) and produces attractive red flowers in summer.

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