Publication: Novon 19: 449 (2009) Derivation



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311

7. Species ac

counts

 —

Melaleuc



a sabrina

Publication:

 Novon 19: 449 (2009)

Derivation:

 sabrina, the Latin name of the river nymph, 

Sabrina, who according to Celtic mythology was believed 

to dwell in, and be one with, the Severn River in the United 

Kingdom

Synonym:

 Callistemon sabrina (Craven) Udovicic & 

R.D.Spencer

Description:

 

Shrub or tree 

1–4 m tall; bark fibrous. 



Branchlets 

glabrescent, pubescent. 



Leaves 

alternate, 

10–59 mm long, 1–3.5 mm wide, 8–27 times as long as 

wide, short- or long-petiolate; blade glabrescent, pubes-

cent to sericeous-pubescent, very narrowly elliptic, very 

narrowly obovate, linear-elliptic or linear-obovate, in 

transverse section transversely linear, sublunate or obsub-

lunate, the base very narrowly attenuate, very narrowly 

cuneate or parallel (blade width equals petiole width), the 

apex very shortly acuminate or acute, the veins pinnate, 

9–17. 

Inflorescences 

spicate, interstitial or pseudoterminal, 

with 5–25 monads, 30–50 mm wide. 

Hypanthium 

hairy, 


2.6–3.5 mm long. 

Calyx lobes 

abaxially hairy, 1–1.9 mm 

long, herbaceous to the margin or scarious in a marginal 

band 0.2–0.3 mm wide. 



Petals 

deciduous, 3.2–5.3 mm 

long. 

Stamens 

49–73 per flower; filaments red to pinkish 

red, 17–24 mm long; anthers yellow. 

Style 

20–26 mm long. 



Ovules 

c. 100–200 per locule. 



Fruit 

3.5–3.8 mm long, the 

calyx lobes deciduous; cotyledons obvolute.

Natural occurrence:

 Queensland, New South Wales: 

the Stanthorpe–Tenterfield district.



Ecology:

 Recorded as occurring on a flood plain in gran-

ite sand among boulders, and on alluvial stream banks.



Flowering time:

 Recorded as flowering from October 

to March.



Essential oil:

 This species produced only a trace of 

oil at best. The oil that was present was dominated by 

monoterpenes. The principal monoterpenes detected were 

1,8-cineole (30.9%) and a-terpineol (18.8%). These com-

pounds were accompanied by lesser amounts of a-pinene 

(2.7%), limonene (1.7%), p-cymene (2%), g-terpinene 

(1.7%), linalool (1.5%) and terpinen-4-ol (1.0%). Ses-

quiterpenes were not plentiful and the major identified 

components were globulol (1.5%), cubeban-11-ol (1.1%) 

and spathulenol (1.2%). A significant amount of the oil 

(approximately 30%) remains unidentified.

Oil yield:

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

Melaleuca 

sabrina

Craven


312

Melaleuc

a salicina

 —

 7



. Species ac

counts


Publication:

 Novon 16: 473 (2006)

Derivation:

 salicina, from Salix, a genus of Salicaceae, 

and in keeping with the earlier epithet saligna that appar-

ently was given due to a perceived similarity between the 

leafy stems of this species and those of a species of Salix

Synonyms:

 Metrosideros saligna Sm.; Callistemon salignus 

(Sm.) Sweet

Description:

 

Tree or shrub 

2–15 m tall; bark papery, 

white or grey. 

Branchlets 

glabrescent, sericeous. 



Leaves 

alternate, 38–144 mm long, 5–16 mm wide, 

4–15 times as long as wide, long-petiolate; blade gla-

brescent, sericeous, very narrowly ovate, very narrowly 

elliptic, narrowly elliptic or narrowly ovate, in transverse 

section transversely linear or broadly v-shaped, the base 

very narrowly attenuate or attenuate, the apex acute, the 

veins pinnate, 19–29, 



oil glands 

dense to sparse, distinct 

or obscure, scattered. 

Inflorescences 

spicate, pseudoter-

minal or interstitial, sometimes also upper axillary, with 

10–40 monads, 20–35 mm wide. 



Hypanthium 

glabrous, 

2.5–3.5 mm long. 

Calyx lobes 

abaxially hairy (with 

cilia on the margin only), 0.8–1.3 mm long, herba-

ceous to the margin. 



Petals 

deciduous, 2.6–4 mm long. 



Stamens 

48–65 per flower; filaments green, greenish-

yellow, creamy-green, very pale yellow or white, 9–14 mm 

long. 


Style 

12–16 mm long. 



Ovules 

c. 100–150 per locule. 



Fruit 

3.8–4.4 mm long; cotyledons obvolute or subobvo-

lute (almost planoconvex).

Natural occurrence:

 Queensland, New South Wales: 

from the Biloela–Bundaberg district in Queensland to the 

Nowra district in New South Wales.

Ecology:

 Recorded as occurring in flat open eucalypt 

forest, swamp woodland, coastal sand plain, Melaleuca 

quinquenervia swamp woodland, damp creek flats, noto-

phyll vine forest on flat, near creek bed in gully between 

rocky ridges, with mangrove on tidal river flat, on sand, 

alluvial clay loam, black soil, brown silt, red-brown vol-

canic loam, and rocky outcrops.

Flowering time:

 Recorded as flowering from Septem-

ber to December.

Essential oils:

 This species produced an oil in which 

1,8-cineole (61–69%) was the principal component. This 

was accompanied by lesser amounts of a-pinene (6–7%), 

b-pinene (1–2%), limonene (7–15%) and a-terpineol 

(7–9%). The major sesquiterpenes, which overall accounted 

for less than 10% of the oil, were b-caryophyllene (1–2%), 

globulol (0.1–0.3%) and spathulenol (0.3–0.4%).



Oil yield:

 The oil yield (fresh weight, w/w) was 0.3%.

Reference on essential oils: 

Brophy et al. 1998, as 

Callistemon salignus

Notes:

 When transferring this species to Melaleuca, a 

new specific epithet was necessary because saligna was 

already in use in Melaleuca for the next species listed here. 

Melaleuca salicina is a popular large shrub or small tree for 

planting in gardens, parks and on road verges as it develops 

into a bushy, well-foliaged plant. A bonus is the brightly 

coloured flushes of new growth and in some respects these 

are more appealing than the flowers.

Melaleuca 

salicina

Craven


313

7. Species ac

counts

 —

Melaleuc



a saligna

Publication:

 in Walpers, Repertorium botanices system-

aticae 2: 927 (1843)



Derivation:

 saligna, from Salix, a genus of Salicaceae, 

apparently in reference to a perceived similarity between 

the leafy stems of this species and those of a species of Salix



Description:

 

Tree or shrub 

1–20 m tall; bark papery, 

whitish, brownish or grey. 

Branchlets 

glabrescent, 

sericeous-pubescent to pubescent with some shorter 

pubescent hairs also, or short-sericeous. 



Leaves 

alternate, 

30–120 mm long, 5–18 mm wide, 5–14 times as long as 

wide, long-petiolate; blade glabrescent, lanuginulose 

to lanuginulose-puberulous overlaid with sericeous to 

sericeous-pubescent hairs, or sericeous-pubescent or 

appressed sericeous, narrowly elliptic or very narrowly 

elliptic, in transverse section transversely linear, the base 

attenuate, the apex acuminate to narrowly acute, the veins 

longitudinal, 3–7, 



oil glands 

moderately dense, distinct 

to obscure, scattered. 

Inflorescences 

spicate or capitate, 

pseudoterminal, with 5–15 triads, up to 23 mm wide. 

Hypanthium 

hairy, 1–2.2 mm long. 



Calyx lobes 

abaxially 

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

0.1–0.3 mm wide. 



Petals 

deciduous, 1.8–2.2 mm long. 



Stamens 

6–9 per bundle; filaments white, 5–8 mm long, the 

bundle claw 1.3–3.2 mm long, 0.3–0.5 times as long as the 

filaments. 



Style 

5–8.5 mm long. 



Ovules 

c. 40–50 per locule. 



Fruit 

1.5–2.5 mm long, the calyx lobes weathering away 

(the extreme basal portion may become woody and persist 

as a low ring or series of undulations on the hypanthium 

rim); cotyledons obvolute.

Natural occurrence:

  Queensland: Cape York 

Peninsula.



Ecology:

 Recorded as occurring in savannah woodland, 

seasonal swamps, sclerophyll woodland, gallery forest, 

sand dunes, edge of tidal saltwater creek, freshwater lake 

edges, waterhole edges, riverbanks, on sand, solodic soil 

with laterite, and alluvium.

Flowering time:

 Recorded as flowering from February 

to November.



Essential oils:

 The leaf oil of this species contained 

both mono- and sesquiterpenes, with sesquiterpenes 

dominating in both number and yield. The principal ses-

quiterpenes were b-caryophyllene (5–8%), a-humulene 

(2–4%), b-selinene (3–10%), a-selinene (3–8%), globulol 

(4–6%) and viridiflorol (3–6%). The principal monoter-

penes encountered were 1,8-cineole (8–28%), a-pinene 

(2–4%) and limonene (4–8%)



Oil yield:

 The oil yield (dry weight, w/w) was 0.2–0.4%.

Reference on essential oils: 

Brophy and Doran 

1996

Notes:

 This broad-leaved paperbark species should not be 

confused with Callistemon salignus, the name of which in 

Melaleuca is M. salicina (see preceding species).



Melaleuca 

saligna

Schauer


314

Melaleuc

a sapient

es

 —

 7



. Species ac

counts


Publication:

 in Craven & Lepschi, Australian Systematic 

Botany 12: 901 (1999)



Derivation:

 sapientes, from the Latin sapiens, wise, 

knowing, in honour of Robert (Rob) and Ann Smart of 

Girraween farm near Jerramungup, Western Australia

who assisted research on Melaleuca quite considerably, 

both through sharing their knowledge of the genus within 

the Jerramungup region and through their generous 

hospitality



Description:

 

Shrub 

0.2–3 m tall; bark papery, white 

or grey. 

Branchlets 

glabrescent, sericeous. 



Leaves 

alter-


nate, 6–19.5 mm long, 0.8–2.1 mm wide, 5–18 times 

as long as wide, subsessile to short-petiolate or sessile; 

blade usually hairy (eventually glabrescent), sericeous 

or rarely sericeous-pubescent, very narrowly elliptic, 

very narrowly obovate or linear, in transverse section 

sublunate, transversely linear, transversely semielliptic, 

shallowly lunate, transversely narrowly elliptic or sub-

circular, the base attenuate to narrowly cuneate, parallel 

(blade width equals petiole width) or truncate, the apex 

acuminate, the veins longitudinal, 3, 



oil glands 

moder-


ately dense, obscure, scattered to more or less in rows. 

Inflorescences 

capitate, pseudoterminal and sometimes 

also upper axillary, with 2–6 triads, up to 20 mm wide. 

Hypanthium 

hairy, 1.8–2 mm long. 



Calyx lobes 

abaxi-


ally hairy, 0.2–0.8 mm long, scarious in a marginal band 

0.1–0.2 mm wide or scarious throughout. 



Petals 

decidu-


ous, 1.2–2 mm long. 

Stamens 

7–9 per bundle; filaments 

mauve, purple, pink or magenta, 6–10.5 mm long, the 

bundle claw 1–2.8 mm long, 0.2–0.3 times as long as 

the filaments. 

Style 

7.5–8 mm long. 



Ovules 

c. 15–20 per 

locule. 

Infructescences 

peg-fruited. 



Fruit 

3–4.5 mm long, 

with sepaline teeth or the calyx lobes weathering away; 

cotyledons obvolute.



Natural occurrence:

 Western Australia: from the 

Hyden–Jerramungup district eastwards to the Salmon 

Gums – Ponier Rock district.

Ecology:

 Recorded as occurring in low eucalypt wood-

land with dense shrub understorey, low shrub and heath 

vegetation, Melaleuca heathland, mallee with dense Mela-

leuca understorey, on sand over laterite, calcareous plain 

with powdery clay, sand over clay, sandy loam, and salt 

flat loam.



Flowering time:

 Recorded as flowering from August 

to January.



Essential oils:

 The oil of this species was dominated 

by monoterpenes. The principal component was 1,8-cin-

eole (49–61%). This was accompanied by lesser amounts 

of a-pinene (9–16%), limonene (3–5%), E-b-ocimene 

(0.7–3.0%), geraniol (1–2%) and a-terpineol (6–7%). 

Sesquiterpenes did not contribute much to the oil. The 

principal members were globulol (2–4%), viridiflorol 

(1–3%) and viridiflorene (0.7–1.0%).



Oil yield:

 The oil yield (fresh weight, w/w) was 1%.

Notes:

 Melaleuca sapientes is an excellent ornamental 

shrub and has been cultivated in Australia for many 

years under the name M. holosericea (Holliday 2004). The 

mauve-pink flowers contrast very well with the silvery-

greyish foliage and the species should be tried more 

generally in Mediterranean climates.

Melaleuca 

sapientes

Craven


315

7. Species ac

counts

 —

Melaleuc



a sc

abr

a

Publication:

 in Aiton, Hortus Kewensis, ed. 2, 4: 414 

(1812)


Derivation:

 scabra, from the Latin scaber, rough, scabby, 

mangy, in reference to the appearance of the leaves

Description:

 

Shrub 

0.2–1.2 m tall. 



Branchlets 

glabrous. 



Leaves 

alternate, 5.5–21 mm long, 0.8–1.3 mm wide, 

5–20 times as long as wide, subsessile to short-petiolate

blade glabrous, linear, linear-obovate or narrowly oblong, 

subfalcate to falcate, in transverse section semicircular, 

flattened transversely semielliptic or transversely elliptic 

to subcircular (often the adaxial surface may be more or 

less channelled or the midrib area may be raised), the base 

attenuate to narrowly cuneate or parallel (blade width 

equals petiole width), the apex acuminate to narrowly 

acute or obtuse to rounded, the veins longitudinal, 3, 

oil glands 

moderately dense, obscure to distinct, scattered 

to more or less in rows. 

Inflorescences 

capitate, pseudoter-

minal and sometimes also upper axillary, with 1–5 triads, 

up to 22 mm wide. 



Hypanthium 

glabrous or hairy, 1.8–

2.5 mm long. 

Calyx lobes 

abaxially glabrous (rarely a very 

few scattered hairs may be present towards the sepal apex), 

0.3–0.7 mm long, scarious in a marginal band 0.1–0.3 mm 

wide or herbaceous to the margin. 

Petals 

deciduous, 

1–2 mm long. 

Stamens 

3–7 per bundle; filaments purple, 

pink, mauve, magenta or deep bright pink, 6–9.5 mm long, 

the bundle claw 1.3–3.8 mm long, 0.2–0.5 times as long 

as the filaments. 

Style 

6–9.5 mm long. 



Ovules 

10–20 per 

locule. 

Infructescences 

globose. 



Fruit 

3–4 mm long, the 

calyx lobes weathering away; cotyledons obvolute.

Natural occurrence:

 Western Australia: the Hope-

toun – Israelite Bay district extending eastwards to the Mt 

Ragged district.

Ecology:

 Recorded as occurring in low closed heath, 

high eucalypt shrubland, sand plain, swamps, low open 

heathland, on sandy loam, sand over clay, among granite 

boulders, sandy silt, and sandy gravel.



Flowering time:

 Recorded as flowering from July to 

November.



Essential oils:

 This species produced a leaf oil contain-

ing significant amounts of both mono- and sesquiterpenes. 

The principal monoterpenes encountered were a-pinene 

(4.2%), b-pinene (6.9%), 1,8-cineole (4.5%) and myrtenal, 

trans-pinocarveol, a-terpineol and myrtenol (each 2–3%). 

The principal sesquiterpenes encountered in the leaf oil 

were a-cadinol (12.2%), spathulenol (6.9%) and T-cadinol, 

T-muurolol, d-cadinene, ledol and caryophyllene oxide 

(each 3–5%).

Oil yield:

 The oil yield (dry weight, w/w) was <0.3%.



Notes:

 The name M. scabra has been misapplied to 

numerous pink- to magenta-flowered species of Melaleuca 

in southern Western Australia. Following studies of the 

‘pom-pom’ species of the genus, M. scabra is now known 

to be restricted to a region in the far south of Western 

Australia as given above.

Melaleuca 

scabra

R.Br.


316

Melaleuc

a sc

alena

 —

 7



. Species ac

counts


Publication:

 in Craven, Lepschi, Broadhurst & Byrne, 

Australian Systematic Botany, 17: 267 (2004)



Derivation:

 scalena, from the Latin scalenus, uneven, 

unequal, odd, in reference to the discordant facies that this 

species presents in nature, especially when it co-occurs 

with other species of the complex such as M. hamata, as 

M. scalena plants usually appear unthrifty relative to plants 

of other broombush species

Description:

 

Shrub 

to 3 m tall; bark papery, peel-

ing. 

Branchlets 

glabrescent, with sericeous or 

lanuginose-sericeous hairs. 

Leaves 

ascending or spread-

ing-ascending, 19–85 mm long (often 20–50), 0.8–1.5 mm 

wide, 16–57 times as long as wide, petiole 0.2–1.5 mm 

long; blade glabrescent, sericeous or lanuginose-sericeous, 

linear or linear-obovate, in transverse section transversely 

elliptic, transversely broadly elliptic, depressed obo-

vate or subcircular, in lateral view straight, incurved or 

recurved, the base parallel or very narrowly cuneate, the 

apex narrowly acuminate, narrowly acute, acuminate or 

aristate, 

oil glands 

scattered. 



Inflorescences 

capitate with 

5–14 triads. 

Hypanthium 

1–1.5 mm long, 1–1.9 mm 

wide. 

Calyx lobes 

5, indistinctly free, abaxially glabrous, 

0.15–0.5 mm long. 

Petals 

caducous or rarely deciduous, 

broadly ovate, 0.9–1.3 mm long, oil glands circular to 

elliptic. 



Stamens 

3–9 per bundle, the filaments whitish 

yellow or pale lemon yellow, 3–7.2 mm long, the bun-

dle claw 0.7–2.9 mm long, 0.2–0.5 times as long as the 

filaments. 

Style 

4.8–5.7 mm long. 



Ovules 

15–18 per loc-

ule. 

Infructescences 

longer than wide (rarely as wide as 

long and very rarely shorter than wide), 6–8 mm wide, the 

constituent fruits closely packed and not retaining a sig-

nificant separate identity (the fruiting hypanthia closely 

packed for their full length). Seeds 0.5–0.8 mm long, the 

cotyledons planoconvex.

Melaleuca 

scalena

Craven & Lepschi



7. Species ac

counts


 —

Melaleuc



a sc

alena

317


7. Species ac

counts — 



Melaleuc

a sc

alena 

(c

on



tinued

)

Natural occurrence:



 Western Australia: from the 

Wyalkatchem – Mount Walker district southwards to the 

Woodanilling–Dumbleyung district.

Ecology:

 Recorded as occurring in Eucalyptus–Mela-

leuca–Acacia woodland, mallee eucalypt–Melaleuca 

shrubland, with Casuarina huegeliana, Eucalyptus–Santa-

lum–Melaleuca–Casuarina woodland, on brown sandy clay 

loam, grey sandy clay loam, light brown sandy clay loam 

over laterite, brown sandy clay loam with ironstone gravel 

over granite, yellow brown gravelly (decomposed granite?) 

soil, and grey brown sandy loam.





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