Australia is home to 140 or more species of melaleucas, and many of these show up in Western gardens. All have narrow, sometimes needlelike leaves and bear clustered flowers with prominent stamens; the blossoms attract birds. Since each flower cluster resembles a bottlebrush, some melalecas are called bottlebrushes, though that name is more generally applied to members of the genus Callistemon.
Tight clusters of woody seed capsules are attached directly to branches; these hang on for several years, forming odd, decorative cylinders around twigs and branches. Many melaleucas have interestingly contorted branches and bark that peels off in thick, papery layers. All melaleucas are easy to grow. Most withstand heat, wind, seacoast conditions, poor soil, limited moisture. Most are vigorous and fast growing; for a natural appearance, control by cutting back selected branches to a well-placed side branch. Almost all melaleucas make good screens; some of the larger ones are useful as flowering or shade trees.Melaleuca linariifolia
Grows 20 to 30 ft. tall, 20 to 25 ft. wide, with dense, umbrellalike crown. White bark sheds in papery flakes. Slender branchlets covered with stiff, bright green or bluish green, needlelike leaves about 1 1/4 in. long. In summer, numerous fluffy spikes of small white flowers give effect of snow on branches. Young plants are willowy and need staking until trunk firms up.
This compact, colorfulcross between A. attenuata and A. ocahui grows 1–2 ft. tall an...
Native to Australia. Slow grower to 12–20 ft. tall, 10–15 ft.wide. This species differs fr...
Grows 20 to 30 ft. tall, 20 to 25 ft. wide, with dense, umbrellalike crown. White bark sheds in papery...