Melaleuca quinquenervia – Broad-leaved Paperbark Family

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Illustrations provided with permission of the Royal Botanic Gardens and Domain Trust



Melaleuca quinquenervia –  Broad-leaved Paperbark 




Common Name:   

Broad-leaved Paperbark 



A coastal species only north from Botany Bay to Cape York 

Queensland,also found in New Guinea and New Caledonia. In HSC 

exclusively in estuarine areas around Brooklyn. Community SF1 (4.6 ha) 

which is an endangered ecological community listed under the NSW 

Threatened Species Conservation Act 1995. A widely used common 

street tree across Sydney. 


Derivation of Name:   

Melaleuca, Greek, melas  meaning black and leukos 

meaning white, 

referring to black fire scars on white trunks

quinquenervia,  Latin, quinque– 

“five” and nervus “veins or nerves” a reference to the five veins visible on 

the leaf blade. 


Conservation Status:  

Inadequately conserved in HSC. Small bushland remnants which contain 

this species are threatened by displacement from exotic plants, 

fragmentation from other bushland, activation of acid sulfate soils and 

inappropriate drainage works. Maybe some long term threats with 

projected sea level rise in estuarine environments. 



A medium sized tree to 15m or 20m in height with distinctive papery pale 

coloured bark. Leaves are lanceolate in shape , 3–7 cm long and up to 

25mm wide, leathery leaves are arranged alternately with five distinctive 

longitudinal veins. Flowers appear towards the end of summer into 

autumn, they are bottlebrush like and white to cream in colour. Fruit is a 

small woody capsule much like a gum nut, arranged in a cylindrical 

pattern around the stem, it contains thousands of fine seeds. 



More than 100 years. 


Horticultural Merit and uses:  

A very fast growing tree. Suitable for only large gardens or parks. 

Develops a massive trunk. Can tolerate water logged soils. Has a wide 

range of indigenous people uses. Used for revegetation where erosion 

control is needed. Timber has been used for such applications as fence 

posts (particularly in wet conditions), fire wood, and flooring. Resistant to 

termite attack. Honey production. 


Fauna Value:  

Attracts a wide range of fauna. Birds and bats are attracted to the 

abundant nectar in the flowers.  



Document Outline

  • Melaleuca quinquenervia –  Broad-leaved Paperbark.pdf
  • quinquenerviaTree
  • quinquinerviaLeavesFlwrs

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