Illustrations provided with permission of the Royal Botanic Gardens and Domain Trust
Melaleuca quinquenervia – 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:
, Greek, melas
meaning black and leukos
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.
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.
Attracts a wide range of fauna. Birds and bats are attracted to the
abundant nectar in the flowers.