Publication: in Craven & Dawson, Adansonia, sér. 3, 20: 192 (1998) Derivation



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137

7. Species ac

counts

 —

Melaleuc



a da

w

sonii

Publication:

 in Craven & Dawson, Adansonia, sér. 3, 

20: 192 (1998)



Derivation:

 dawsonii, in honour of John Wyndham 

Dawson (1928–), of Wellington, New Zealand, who is an 

authority on the Myrtaceae of New Caledonia



Synonym: 

Callistemon suberosum Pancher ex Brongn. 

& Gris

Description:

 

Shrub 

to 4 m tall. 



Branchlets 

hairy, 


the hairs dense and silvery grey and satiny. 

Leaves 

60–85 mm long, 15–30 mm wide, subsessile; 

blade hairy, the hairs as on the branchlets, elliptic to 

obovate, the base attenuate, the apex rounded to retuse, 

the veins longitudinal, 5–15. 

Inflorescences 

subspher­

oidal, pseudoterminal. 

Hypanthium 

3–4 mm long. 



Calyx lobes 

fimbriate, 2.3–2.8 mm long. 



Petals 

2.8–5 mm 

long. 

Stamens 

15–20 per flower, occasionally a few stamens 

may be fused at the base; filaments green, 25–35 mm long. 

Style 

3–34 mm long. 



Fruit 

4 mm long.



Natural occurrence:

 New Caledonia: the southern 

part of Grande Terre.



Ecology:

 Recorded as occurring in more or less open 

maquis on more or less eroded or hard soils on ultramafic 

substrates.

Flowering time:

 Recorded as flowering throughout the 

year but mainly from May to July.



Essential oils:

 The leaf oil of this species contained 

approximately equal amounts of mono­ and sesquiter­

penes. The principal monoterpenes encountered were 

a­pinene (12.8%), a­phellandrene (10.3%) and terpinolene 

(8.2%). There were lesser amounts of p­cymene (6.0%), 

a­terpineol (6.7%), E­b­ocimene (1.6%), limonene (1.8%) 

and linalool (1.2%). The principal sesquiterpenes in the oil 

were spathulenol (10.0%), globulol (8.0%), b­caryophyl­

lene (4.9%), cubeban­11­ol (3.1%) and viridiflorol (2.1%).



Oil yield:

 The oil yield (fresh weight, w/w) was 0.1%.



Reference on essential oils: 

Hnawia et al. 2012



Notes:

 This is a very handsome species but its utilisation 

in horticulture is limited as it, as with the other endemic 

New Caledonian species, is difficult to grow on non­

ultramafic soils.

Melaleuca 

dawsonii

Craven


138

Melaleuc

a de

albat

a

 7



. Species ac

counts


Publication:

 Contributions from the Queensland Her-

barium 1: 41, figs 5, 14E, 15E, 15N (1968)



Derivation:

 dealbata, from the Latin dealbatus, covered 

with a white powder, an apparent reference to the colour 

of the leaves that commonly give the crown of the plant a 

silvery, whitish appearance



Description:

 

Tree 

4–30 m tall; bark papery, white, 

cream or greyish. 

Branchlets 

glabrescent, pubescent with 

a lanuginulose understorey. 

Leaves 

alternate, 50–126 mm 

long, 10–30 mm wide, 2.3–8.5 times as long as wide, 

long­petiolate; blade glabrescent, lanuginulose with a 

pubescent overstorey, narrowly elliptic, elliptic, very nar­

rowly elliptic or narrowly obovate, in transverse section 

transversely linear, the base attenuate, the apex acute, 

acuminate or narrowly acute, the veins longitudinal, 5–9, 



oil glands 

dense or moderately dense, distinct to obscure, 

scattered. 

Inflorescences 

spicate, interstitial or pseudoter­

minal, commonly lateral, with 7–28 triads, up to 25 mm 

wide. 


Hypanthium 

hairy, glabrescent or glabrous, 2–3 mm 

long. 

Calyx lobes 

abaxially hairy, 0.6–1.5 mm long, her­

baceous to the margin or scarious in a broad marginal 

band up to 0.3 mm wide. 



Petals 

caducous or deciduous, 

2.2–3.3 mm long. 

Stamens 

5–8 per bundle; filaments 

white, cream, pale yellow or greenish, 5–7.5 mm long, the 

bundle claw 0.5–1.9 mm long, 0.2–0.4 times as long as the 

filaments. 

Style 

7.8–11.9 mm long. 



Ovules 

c. 40–60 per 

locule. 

Fruit 

2.5–3.6 mm long, the calyx lobes deciduous 

or weathering away; cotyledons planoconvex.

Natural occurrence:

 Western Australia, Northern 

Territory, Queensland; also Indonesia and Papua New 

Guinea: occurs disjunctly in the Broome–Derby and Wea­

ber Range districts in Western Australia, the northern part 

of the Northern Territory, and from Cape York Peninsula 

south to the Bundaberg district in Queensland. The species 

also occurs in southern Papua province, Indonesia, and 

southern Papua New Guinea.



Ecology:

 Recorded as occurring in tall mixed savannah 

woodland, open forest, in seasonally wet or perennial 

swamps, on sandy loam, clay, and humic soils.

Flowering time:

 Recorded as flowering from May to 

December.

Essential oils:

 The leaf oil of this species was domi­

nated by sesquiterpenes. The major compounds were 

b­caryophyllene (13–34%), caryophyllene oxide (6–19%), 

globulol (3–6%) and spathulenol (11–20%). There were 

many other sesquiterpenes present in small (<1%) 

amounts. Monoterpenes usually contributed virtually 

nothing to the oil, though in samples from Mt Molloy (JD 

2070) a­pinene contributed 10–36%.



Oil yield:

 The oil yield (fresh weight, w/w) was 0.1–0.2%. 

The yield from the Mt Molloy samples was, likewise, poor 

(0.1–0.2%).

References on essential oils:

 Brophy et al. 1988; 

Brophy and Doran 1996



Notes:

 This species is perhaps less attractive than other 

tree species of the genus but it is well worth including in 

mixed plantings with greenish­leaved species in parks, 

roadside plantings etc. so that the distinctive silvery­

greyish foliage of M. dealbata contrasts with the foliage of 

the other species.

Melaleuca 

dealbata

S.T.Blake



139

7. Species ac

counts

 —

Melaleuc



a de

anei

Publication:

 Proceedings of the Linnean Society of New 

South Wales, ser. 2, 1: 1106 (1887)



Derivation:

  deanei, in honour of Henry Deane 

(1847–1924), a railways engineer who also made many 

contributions to Australian botany, especially in the fields 

of eucalyptology and palaeobotany and who collected the 

type material of this species



Description:

 

Shrub 

0.3–2.4 m tall; bark fibrous, grey. 



Branchlets 

rapidly glabrescent (the pubescent hairs, usually 

with some shorter lanuginose­pubescent and lanuginulose 

hairs also, ephemeral). 



Leaves 

alternate, 10–31 mm long, 

3–9 mm wide, 3–6 times as long as wide, short­ to long­

petiolate; blade glabrescent, sericeous (sometimes grading 

to sericeous­pubescent), narrowly obovate to obovate or 

narrowly elliptic to elliptic, in transverse section trans­

versely linear, the base cuneate or attenuate, the apex 

acuminate, the veins pinnate to longitudinal­pinnate, 5–9 

when pinnate and 5–7 when longitudinal

oil glands 

dense, 


distinct, scattered. 

Inflorescences 

spicate, pseudoterminal, 

with 3–25 monads, up to 40 mm wide. 

Hypanthium 

hairy 


or rarely glabrescent, 3.5–5 mm long. 

Calyx lobes 

abaxially 

hairy or glabrescent, 1.3–2.2 mm long, usually herbaceous 

to the margin (sometimes an ill­defined band of thinner 

tissue to c. 0.4 mm wide is present around the margin). 

Petals 

deciduous, 4–6.5 mm long. 



Stamens 

17–28 per 

bundle; filaments white, 8.5–18.5 mm long, the bundle 

claw 1.5–2.5 mm long, 0.1–0.2 times as long as the fila­

ments. 

Style 

11–19 mm long. 



Ovules 

c. 110–160 per locule. 



Fruit 

7–9 mm long, the calyx lobes soon weathering away; 

cotyledons obvolute.

Natural occurrence:

 New South Wales: from the 

Berowra district south to the Nowra district.



Ecology:

 Recorded as occurring in dry sclerophyll forest, 

heathland, remnant swamp and woodland, on sandy loam, 

sandstone, and laterite.

Flowering time:

 Recorded as flowering from July to 

November.

Essential oils:

 The leaf oil of this species was domi­

nated by monoterpenes. The major components were 

a­pinene (46–52%) and 1,8­cineole (31–38%) These were 

accompanied by lesser amounts of limonene (2–3%) and 

a­terpineol (6–11%); no other component being greater 

than 0.5%. Sesquiterpenes were virtually absent from this 

oil, with the only significant members being E,E­farnesol, 

caryophyllene oxide and spathulenol (each 0.1%). The 

b­triketone leptospermone was also detected, though in 

trace amounts. A second sample (p147, Erich Lassak) pro­

duced a similar monoterpenic oil but contained slightly 

more leptospermone, as well as flavesone.



Oil yield:

 The oil yield (fresh weight, w/w) was 0.5–1.0%.

Notes:

 This species is little known but has quite attrac­

tive flowers and should be trialled in dryish climates as an 

ornamental shrub.



Melaleuca 

deanei

F.Muell.


140

Melaleuc

a dec

or

a

 7



. Species ac

counts


Publication:

 The Journal of Botany, British and Foreign 

54: 62 (1916)



Derivation:

 decora, from the Latin decorus, becoming, 

fitting, beautiful, the reason for the choice of epithet not 

given but possibly in reference to the appearance of the 

specimens



Synonym: 

Metrosideros decora Salisb.



Description:

 

Tree 

8–10 m tall; bark papery, brown 

or greyish­white. 

Branchlets 

glabrescent, lanuginu­

lose to lanuginulose­puberulous. 

Leaves 

alternate, 

7.8–16.5 mm long, 1–2 mm wide, 4.5–10.5 times as long 

as wide, subsessile to short­petiolate; blade glabrescent, 

lanuginulose to lanuginulose­puberulous, very narrowly 

elliptic or narrowly elliptic, in transverse section sublu­

nate or transversely linear, the base narrowly cuneate to 

attenuate, the apex narrowly acute to acute, the veins long­

itudinal, 3, 

oil glands 

dense, distinct to obscure, scattered. 



Inflorescences 

spicate, pseudoterminal or interstitial, with 

3–30 monads or triads (at least the median floral units 

being triads), up to 17 mm wide. 



Hypanthium 

glabres­


cent or glabrous, 1.5–2.5 mm long. 

Calyx lobes 

abaxially 

glabrous, 0.7–1.1 mm long, herbaceous to the margin. 

Petals 

deciduous, 2.2–2.5 mm long. 



Stamens 

20–40 per 

bundle; filaments cream or white, 5–8.6 mm long, the 

bundle claw 2.5–4.8 mm long, 0.4–0.6 times as long as the 

filaments. 

Style 

6–7 mm long. 



Ovules 

50–65 per locule. 



Fruit 

2–3 mm long, the calyx lobes weathering away; 

cotyledons obvolute.

Natural occurrence:

 Queensland, New South Wales: 

from the Burnett River district in Queensland south to 

the Shoalhaven River district in New South Wales, with a 

major gap occurring in northern New South Wales.



Ecology:

 Recorded as occurring in open sclerophyll for­

est, mixed eucalypt forest, swamps, and on sand.



Flowering time:

 Recorded as flowering from Novem­

ber to January.



Essential oils:

 The leaf oil of this species contained 

both mono­ and sesquiterpenes in similar amounts. There 

appeared to be two chemical forms present, depending on 

the amount of terpinen­4­ol present. The first chemical 

form contained a­pinene (18–30%), b­pinene (7–12%), 

terpinen­4­ol (1–2%), a­terpineol (2–3%), aromadendrene 

(5–9%), bicyclogermacrene (2–4%), globulol (4–8%), vir­

idiflorol (2–5%) and spathulenol (1–3%). The second form 

contained a­pinene (21.8%), b­pinene (4.1%), terpinen­

4­ol (15.8%), aromadendrene (10.3%), viridiflorene (6.9%), 

globulol (5.6%), viridiflorol (2.3%) and spathulenol (2.3%).

Oil yield:

 The oil yield in both cases (fresh weight, w/w) 

was 0.1–0.2%.



Notes:

 This species is a useful ornamental shrub or small 

tree for subtropical or temperate regions and will tolerate 

damp soils. The amount of terpinen­4­ol present in one 

sample would indicate that a larger survey of the species 

may produce even better percentages of this compound, 

though the oil yield would have to be much improved.

Melaleuca 

decora

(Salisb.) Britten



141

7. Species ac

counts

 —

Melaleuc



a decus

sat

a

Publication:

 in Aiton, Hortus Kewensis, ed. 2, 4: 415 

(1812)


Derivation:

 decussata, from the Latin decussis, the 

Roman numeral X (ten), hence decussatus, an allusion to 

the cross­shaped arrangement of the leaves when viewed 

down the axis of the branchlet



Description:

 

Shrub 

1–3 m tall. 



Branchlets 

glabrescent, 

puberulous to lanuginulose­puberulous. 

Leaves 

decus­


sate, 4.5–15 mm long, 0.5–3 mm wide, 3–12 times as 

long as wide, subsessile; blade glabrescent, puberulous 

to lanuginulose­puberulous, very narrowly obovate, very 

narrowly elliptic, narrowly obovate or narrowly elliptic, 

in transverse section lunate, shallowly lunate, strongly 

lunate, subreniform or supervolute­curved, the base 

cuneate, the apex acute or obtuse, the veins longitudinal, 3, 

oil glands 

sparse to moderately dense, distinct to obscure, 

scattered to more or less in rows. 

Inflorescences 

spicate, 

interstitial or pseudoterminal, with 6–22 monads, 

up to 16 mm wide. 



Hypanthium 

glabrous or hairy, 

1–1.7 mm long. 

Calyx lobes 

abaxially glabrous or rapidly 

glabrescent, 0.5–0.8 mm long, scarious in a marginal band 

0.2–0.5 mm wide. 



Petals 

deciduous, 1.8–2.3 mm long. 



Stamens 

12–26 per bundle; filaments mauve or purple, 

4.5–6 mm long, the bundle claw 0.5–2 mm long. 

Style 

6.5–


7.5 mm long. 

Ovules 

c. 45–50 per locule. 



Fruit 

distinctly 

embedded in the rachis, the calyx lobes weathering away; 

cotyledons planoconvex.



Natural occurrence:

 South Australia, Victoria: from 

the Eyre Peninsula region of South Australia eastwards to 

central­eastern Victoria.

Ecology:

 Recorded as occurring in heathland, coastal 

mallee, open eucalypt forest, open scrub, on alluvial sand/

gravel, on limestone/laterite soils, clay loam, and quartzite.

Flowering time:

 Recorded as flowering from August 

to May.

Essential oils:

 The leaf oil from this species was 

monoterpenoid in nature. The principal components 

were 1,8­cineole (53–63%), limonene (7–16%), a­pinene 

(1–8%), terpinen­4­ol (1–2%) and a­terpineol (3–5%). 

Sesquiterpenes did not contribute much to the oil, with 

the principal components being aromadendrene (1–4%), 

b­caryophyllene (1–4%), viridiflorene (1–10%) and glob­

ulol (1–3%).



Oil yield:

 The oil yield (dry weight, w/w) was 0.4%.

Notes:

 Melaleuca decussata is widely grown in temper­

ate regions of Australia as it is hardy and adaptable to a 

range of soil types. The flowers unfortunately quickly fade 

(Wrigley and Fagg 1993) and this lessens the value of the 

species as an ornamental.



Melaleuca 

decussata

R.Br.


142

Melaleuc

a delt

a

 7



. Species ac

counts


Publication:

 in Craven & Lepschi, Australian Systematic 

Botany 12: 872 (1999)



Derivation:

 delta, in honour of DELTA, a valuable 

computer software package for biological systematists 

and other scientists, especially those necessarily dealing 

with large datasets due to the complexities of the taxa 

concerned. The word DELTA is derived from DEscription 

Language for TAxonomy



Description:

 

Shrub



Branchlets 

glabrescent, sericeous­

pubescent or pubescent, occasionally puberulous or 

minutely sericeous. 

Leaves 

alternate, 5–12.5 mm long, 

1.5–2.8 mm wide, 3.5–8 times as long as wide, sessile or 

subsessile; blade glabrescent, with cilia only or minutely 

sericeous to sericeous­lanuginulose, narrowly elliptic, very 

narrowly elliptic or narrowly ovate, in transverse section 

sublunate or transversely linear, the base cuneate or trun­

cate, the apex acuminate or narrowly acute, the veins 

longitudinal, 7–9, 

oil glands 

moderately dense, distinct to 

obscure, more or less in rows. 

Inflorescences 

capitate, lateral, 

with 1–7 monads, up to 15 mm wide. 

Hypanthium 

gla­


brous, 1.8–2 mm long. 

Calyx lobes 

abaxially glabrous, 

weakly costate, 0.5–1 mm long, scarious in a marginal band 

0.2–0.3 mm wide. 



Petals 

deciduous, 2–3 mm long. 



Stamens 

15–40 per bundle; filaments white, 5–6 mm long, 

the bundle claw 3.5–4 mm long, 0.5–0.7 times as long as 

the filaments. 



Style 

2–4(–7) mm long. 



Ovules 

30–45 per 

locule. 

Fruit 

3–4 mm long, with sepaline teeth (these may 

weather away); cotyledons planoconvex.

Natural occurrence:

 Western Australia: disjunct in 

the Kalbarri, Jurien and Wongan Hills districts.



Ecology:

 Recorded as occurring in a Melaleuca swamp 

thicket, open heath, on saline silty soil, brown lateritic clay, 

laterite, and on gravelly loam on shallow sandstone.

Flowering time:

 Recorded as flowering in November 

and December.



Essential oils:

 This species produced a monoterpenoid 

oil. The principal component was 1,8­cineole (72.3%). 

This was accompanied by lesser amounts of a­pinene 

(11.0%), limonene (3.5%), myrcene (2.2%), b­pinene 

(1.3%), terpinen­4­ol (1.1%) and a­terpineol (0.6%). 

Sesquiterpenes contributed less than 5% of the oil, with 

the principal members being spathulenol (1.2%), globulol 

(0.8%), bicyclogermacrene (0.9%) and viridiflorol (0.6%).



Oil yield:

 The oil yield (fresh weight, w/w) was 0.8%.



Melaleuca 

delta

Craven


143

7. Species ac

counts

 —

Melaleuc



a dempt

a

Publication:

 in Craven & Lepschi, Australian Systematic 

Botany 12: 872 (1999)



Derivation:

 dempta, from the Latin demptus, to take 

away, remove, in reference to the reduction of the sepaline 

teeth in this species



Synonym:

 Melaleuca calycina subsp. dempta Barlow

Description:

 

Shrub 

1.5–2.2 m tall. 



Branchlets 

soon 


glabrescent (the lanuginose­pubescent hairs ephemeral). 

Leaves 

decussate, 4.2–8 mm long, 2.5–6.2 mm wide, 

1.1–1.9 times as long as wide, short­petiolate or subsessile; 

blade soon glabrescent (the lanuginose­pubescent hairs 

ephemeral), ovate, broadly ovate or elliptic, in transverse 

section lunate, the base rounded, cuneate or subcordate, 

the apex acute, broadly acute or obtuse, the veins lon­

gitudinal, 5–9, 





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