The information given for each of the species in this section is a summary of know­



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63

The information given for each of the species in this section is a summary of know­

ledge; space restrictions preclude the inclusion of all information. The information is 

arranged under the following headings, but note that not every heading may be relevant 

to a species, in which case it is not included.

Taxonomy. 

In cases where infraspecific taxa are 

recognised, the taxa are listed here. The data relevant to the 

differences between the infraspecific taxa, and their natural 

occurrence, ecology, flowering times etc. are given under 

the appropriate headings. One new name is published in 

this volume, i.e. M. glauca (Sweet) Craven.

Publication.

 The included reference(s) is(are) the place 

of publication of the accepted name of each species and, 

where relevant, also of each non­autonymic infraspecific 

taxon. It is given in the standard taxonomic style, i.e. the 

page number is the page upon which the name is first 

given. There may be further relevant information given 

on the subsequent and/or preceding page(s).



Derivation. 

The derivation of specific and infraspecific 

epithets, as far as these can be ascertained, is provided.

Synonym(s).

 Only the major taxonomic or nomenclatural 

synonyms are given. Names that have been rarely or not 

used in recent decades are not included.



Description. 

This is a standard botanical statement of 

the species’ morphology. Where decimal places do not 

match, this is to stress that the ranges provided are not 

given with a strict level of precision, owing to the nature 

of the materials studied.



Natural occurrence.

 The geographical distribution 

of each taxon is given for the plant’s natural range. In a 

few cases where a taxon is extensively, or well known to 

be, naturalised, the naturalised range may also be given. 

The herbarium documentation of adventive or locally 

naturalised Melaleuca species within Australia and other 

countries needs to be encouraged, and herbarium records 

should clearly indicate if a taxon is adventive or is definitely 

naturalised, with evidence of several generations present 

being noted.

Ecology.

 A brief statement of the habitat in which each 

taxon occurs is given.

Flowering time. 

Flowering times are derived from the 

information given on herbarium specimens and, in some 

cases, must be considered as a guide only, especially for 

taxa noted as flowering throughout the year. Sometimes 

an individual plant may flower well outside the usual 

flowering period and thus a herbarium record may not be 

applicable to the whole population on the particular date 

on which the specimens were collected.

Essential oils. 

A leaf oils profile of each taxon is given 

here. The full data are available online, at: 

.

Oil yield. 

The yield of oil is given here; also whether the 

distilled foliage sample was fresh or dried material (weight 

for weight; w/w).



Reference(S) on essential oil(s). 

Where the 

essential oil information was previously published, the 

reference(s) is(are) given here.



Notes. 

Under this heading is information on essential oils 

of interest, notes on cultivation, the differences between 

infraspecific taxa, pertinent taxonomic or nomenclatural 

information and so on.

Image. 

Where available, an image of flowering material is 

included. In a few cases, where no flowering material was 

 

Species accounts



64

7. Species ac

counts

available, an image of young or mature fruit has been used. 



Many species of Melaleuca are variable with respect to the 

colour of their flowers. Sometimes the recorded variability 

is due to differences in the shade of a colour or the different 

interpretations of collectors when noting flower colour. 

In some species, however, the flower colour can vary 

dramatically, such as in M. nervosa whose flowers may be 

green, red or white to yellowish. The image included in 

the species’ account can therefore only be considered a 

guide to the colour. Sourcing plants for floral ornamental 

purposes will require care to ensure that the desired colour 

form is obtained.

Distribution map. 

The data upon which the 

distribution maps are based were drawn from records 

of specimens held in Australian herbaria, supplemented 

with data from protologues and other sources. In the case 

of species in which infraspecific taxa are recognised, the 

depicted distribution is for the species as a whole.


65

7. Species ac

counts

 —

Melaleuc



a ac

acioide

s

Melaleuca 

acacioides

F.Muell.


Publication:

 Fragmenta phytographiae Australiae 3: 116 

(1862)


Derivation:

  acacioides, from Acacia, a genus of 

Fabaceae, and the Greek ­oides, resembling, in reference 

to the similarity, in foliage, between this species and certain 

species of Acacia



Description:

 

Tree or shrub 

1.5–10 m tall; bark papery 

or rarely hard, whitish or greyish or rarely brownish. 

Branchlets 

glabrescent to longish pubescent. 



Leaves 

alter­


nate, 23–70 mm long, 6–14 mm wide, 3–9 times as long as 

wide, short­petiolate to subsessile; blade glabrescent, long­

ish pubescent, narrowly obovate, obovate, narrowly elliptic 

or elliptic, in transverse section transversely linear, the 

base attenuate or cuneate, the apex rounded to acuminate, 

the veins longitudinal, 5–7, 



oil glands 

dense, distinct, 

scattered. 

Inflorescences 

capitate, lateral, pseudotermi­

nal or interstitial, with 2–10 triads. 

Hypanthium 

hairy, 


1.4–2 mm long. 

Calyx lobes 

abaxially hairy, 0.5–0.6 mm 

long, scarious in a marginal band 0.1–0.4 mm wide. 

Petals 

deciduous, 1.2–1.6 mm long. 



Stamens 

6–7 per 


bundle; filaments white to cream, 5.9–6.7 mm long, the 

bundle claw 2–2.4 mm long, 0.4–0.6 times as long as the 

filaments. 

Style 

7–7.5 mm long. 



Ovules 

6–9 per locule. 



Fruit 

1.6–2.3 mm long, the calyx lobes abaxially persis­

tent; cotyledons obvolute.

Natural occurrence:

 Northern Territory, Queens­

land; also Papua New Guinea: from western Arnhem Land 

in the Northern Territory eastwards to Cape York Penin­

sula in Queensland. The species also occurs in southern 

Papua New Guinea.

Ecology:

 Recorded as occurring generally in slightly 

saline areas, typically on the land side of mangrove and 

samphire communities, in grassland, tall myrtaceous 

scrub, riparian vegetation, and eucalypt woodland.



Flowering time:

 Recorded as flowering from May to 

November.



Essential oils:

 This species produced an oil that was 

dominated by sesquiterpenes. The principal components 

were b­selinene (21–30%) and a­selinene (53–55%). These 

were accompanied by lesser amounts of the sesquiterpe­

nes selina­11­en­4­ol (6–9%), globulol (0.7–2.0%) and 

b­caryophyllene (1–2%). Monoterpenes were virtually 

absent from this oil.

Oil yield:

 The oil yield (fresh weight, w/w) was 0.3–0.8%.

References on essential oils:

 Brophy et al. 1987; 

Brophy 1999



Notes:

 This species may have potential for shelter belts 

or specimen plantings in regions with saline soils and a 

monsoonal tropical climate. It could be useful as a source 

of a­ and b­selinene.


66

Melaleuc

a acuminat

a

 7



. Species ac

counts


Taxonomy:

 Two subspecies are recognised within this 

species: subsp. acuminata and subsp. websteri (S.Moore) 

Barlow ex Craven



Publications:

 Fragmenta phytographiae Australiae 1: 15 

(1858), subsp. acuminata; in Craven & Lepschi, Australian 

Systematic Botany 12: 858 (1999), subsp. websteri

Derivation:

 acuminata, from the Latin acumen, sharp 

point, in reference to the leaf apex; websteri, in honour 

of Leonard Clarke Webster (1870–1942), an Australian 

pharmacist and botanical collector, who later trained as 

a physician

Description:

 

Shrub or  tree 

1.2–4 m tall; bark papery or 

fibrous, whitish or greyish­white. 



Branchlets 

soon glabres­

cent (the lanuginulose hairs ephemeral). 

Leaves 

decussate, 

4.5–19 mm long, 0.8–4 mm wide, 2.5–18 times as long 

as wide, short­petiolate to subsessile; blade soon glabres­

cent (the lanuginulose hairs ephemeral), linear, oblong, 

narrowly elliptic, elliptic, narrowly ovate or ovate, in trans­

verse section lunate, conduplicate­involute or transversely 

linear, the base attenuate to rounded, the apex acuminate, 

narrowly acute or narrowly acuminate, the veins weakly 

pinnate (superficially appearing to have 3 longitudinal 



Melaleuca 

acuminata

F.Muell.


7. Species ac

counts


 —

Melaleuc



a acuminat

a

67

7. Species ac



counts — 

Melaleuc

a acuminat

(c

on



tinued

)

veins), 



oil glands 

sparse, distinct to obscure, scattered. 



Inflorescences 

capitate, lateral (often developing on older 

wood), with 1–8 monads, 6–20 mm wide. 

Hypanthium 

gla­


brous, 1.2–2.7 mm long. 

Calyx lobes 

abaxially glabrous, 

0.5–1.4 mm long, scarious in a marginal band 1–2 mm 

wide. 


Petals 

deciduous, 1.5–3 mm long. 



Stamens 

8–18 per 

bundle; filaments white or cream (rarely yellowish), 4–7.5 

mm long, the bundle claw 3–4.9 mm long, 0.6–0.7 times as 

long as the filaments. 

Style 

5.1–7.3 mm long. 



Ovules 

40–80 


per locule. 

Fruit 

2.3–4.5 mm long, with sepaline teeth or 

the calyx lobes weathering away or rarely persistent; coty­

ledons planoconvex to subobvolute.



Natural occurrence:

 subsp. acuminata: Western 

Australia, South Australia, New South Wales: southern 

Western Australia, extending eastwards to southern South 

Australia and far­western Victoria and New South Wales. 



subsp. websteri: Western Australia: from the Wubin dis­

trict south to the Wyalkatchem district.



Ecology:

 subsp. acuminata: Recorded as occurring in 

mallee woodland, closed mallee shrubland, woodland and 

mallee heath, on white sand, clayey sand over laterite, red 

sand, and grey­brown calcareous loamy sand, sometimes 

in the vicinity of salt lakes. subsp. websteri: Recorded as 

occurring in Casuarina–Eucalyptus–Melaleuca thickets, 

on sandy soil, granite loam, and clay, sometimes in saline 

situations.



Flowering time:

 subsp. acuminata: Recorded as 

flowering from March to April, and from June to January, 

probably mainly flowering in winter and spring. subsp. 

websteri: Recorded as flowering from August to October.

Essential oils:

 subsp. acuminata: The leaf oil of this 

subspecies was dominated by monoterpenes. The bulk 

collection (of three trees) contained significant amounts 

of 1,8­cineole (36.4%) and terpinolene (15.5%) and 

was similar to subsp. websteri, suggesting that at least 

one of the trees was of this chemical form. Two further 

individual trees contained 1,8­cineole (52–65%) as the 

principal component. This was accompanied by lesser 

amounts of limonene (2–4%), a­pinene (1–7%), myrcene 

(1–3%), terpinen­4­ol (1–3%) and a­terpineol (3–6%). 

The major sesquiterpenes present were aromadendrene 

(3–5%), viridiflorene (1–3%), globulol (2–3%), viridiflorol 

(1–2%) and spathulenol (0.6–2.0%). A second collection 

(BJL 1651) contained 1,8­cineole (35–55%) and a­pinene 

(10–15%) as major components, with all other components 

being in similar amounts to those listed above. subsp. 



websteri: The leaf oil from this subspecies was dominated 

by monoterpenes. The two principal components were 

1,8­cineole (24–30%) and terpinolene (25–33%). They 

were accompanied by lesser amounts of the monoterpe­

nes a­pinene (2–7%), a­phellandrene (6–7%), g­terpinene 

(2–3%) and lesser amounts (<1.5%) of limonene, myrcene, 

a­terpinene, p­cymene, terpinen­4­ol and a­terpineol. 

Sesquiterpenes, while reasonably plentiful, did not con­

tribute significantly to the oil. The principal members 

of this class were aromadendrene (2–3%), viridiflorene 

(1–2%), bicyclogermacrene (0.5–2.0%), globulol (1–3%), 

viridiflorol (1–2%) and spathulenol (1–2%).



Oil yield: 

subsp. acuminata: The oil yield (dry weight, 

w/w) was 2–3%. subsp. websteri: The oil yield (fresh 

weight, w/w) was 1–2%.

Notes:

 The two subspecies are distinguished as follows: 



subsp. acuminata: Leaf blade narrowly elliptic, elliptic, 

narrowly ovate or ovate; hypanthium 1.8–2.7 mm long; 

calyx lobes 0.5–1.4 mm long. subsp. websteri: Leaf blade 

linear, oblong or narrowly elliptic; hypanthium 1.2–1.8 

mm long; calyx lobes 0.5–0.7 mm long.

This species is regarded as adaptable and easy to grow in 

most soils, whether acidic or alkaline, in dry­temperate to 

temperate environments (Holliday 2004).



68

Melaleuc

a acutif

olia

 —

 7



. Species ac

counts


Publication:

 Nuytsia 20: 28 (2010)

Derivation:

 acutifolia, from the Latin acutus, acute, 

folium, leaf

Synonyms:

 Melaleuca lateriflora var. acutifolia Benth.; 

Melaleuca lateriflora subsp. acutifolia (Benth.) Barlow ex 

Craven


Description:

 

Shrub or  tree 

0.4–6 m tall; bark fibrous or 

papery, grey. 

Branchlets 

glabrescent, sericeous­pubescent 

to minutely sericeous or rarely pubescent or sericeous­

lanuginulose to lanuginulose­puberulous. 



Leaves 

alternate, 

7–25 mm long, 2–7.5 mm wide, 3.9–8 times as long 

as wide, short­petiolate to sessile; blade glabrescent, 

sericeous­lanuginulose, often with some lanuginulose­

puberulous hairs or rarely with glabrous lamina and ciliate 

margin, sometimes sericeous­lanuginulose to minutely 

sericeous, sericeous­lanuginulose with some lanuginulose 

hairs or sericeous­pubescent, narrowly obovate, narrowly 

elliptic, very narrowly obovate or very narrowly elliptic, in 

transverse section lunate, sublunate or transversely nar­

rowly elliptic (approaching transversely linear), the base 

cuneate, narrowly cuneate or attenuate, the apex obtusely 

shortly acuminate, acute, acuminate or rarely obtuse, the 

veins longitudinal, 5–9, 

oil glands 

dense or moderately 

dense, distinct or obscure, scattered to more or less in 

rows. 


Inflorescences 

capitate, lateral, with 1–15 monads, 

up to 25 mm wide. 

Hypanthium 

glabrous, 1.5–2.3 mm 

long. 

Calyx lobes 

abaxially glabrous, costate (sometimes 

faintly so), 0.7–1.3 mm long, scarious in a marginal band 

0.15–0.5 mm wide. 



Petals 

deciduous, 2–3.4 mm long. 



Stamens 

10–22 per bundle; filaments white or rarely 

cream, 8–10 mm long, the bundle claw 3.5–6.5 mm long, 

0.5–0.8 times as long as the filaments. 



Style 

8–10 mm long. 



Ovules 

25–45 per locule. 



Fruit 

2.8–4.2 mm long, with 

sepaline teeth (these at length weathering); cotyledons 

planoconvex (sometimes approaching subobvolute).



Natural occurrence:

 Western Australia: from the 

Kalbarri–Yalgoo district south to the Perth–Waroona district.



Ecology:

 Recorded as occurring in tall closed Melaleuca 

shrubland, mallee scrubland, Melaleuca woodland, dense 

low heathland, near edge of salt pan, on sandy clay, clay 

loam with laterite, and saline soil.



Flowering time:

 Recorded as flowering from December 

to March.



Essential oils:

 The leaf oil of this species was over­

whelmingly monoterpenoid in character. The principal 

component was 1,8­cineole (76.5%). This was accompanied 

by lesser amounts of a­pinene (3.4%), b­pinene (1.9%), 

limonene (3.7%), p­cymene (1.1%) and a­terpineol (9.1%). 

Sesquiterpenes were neither abundant nor plentiful, with 

the principal component being spathulenol (0.6%).

Oil yield:

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

Notes:

 Based upon its natural distribution and ecology, 

this species should be suitable for regions with a dry Medi­

terranean climate and slightly saline soils.



Melaleuca 

acutifolia

(Benth.) Craven & Lepschi



69

7. Species ac

counts

 —

Melaleuc



a adenos

tyla

Publication:

 in Cowley, Quinn, Barlow & Craven, Aus-

tralian Systematic Botany 3: 171, fig. 2c–d (1990)



Derivation:

 adenostyla, from the Greek adenos, gland, 

and stylos, style, in reference to the glandular style

Description:

 

Shrub 

1.5–5 m tall. 



Branchlets 

soon 


glabrescent (the ephemeral hairs lanuginulose). 

Leaves 

decussate, 6–16 mm long, 0.8–1.2 mm wide, 

5–16 times as long as wide, short­petiolate; blade soon 

glabrescent (the ephemeral hairs lanuginulose), linear or 

narrowly elliptic, in transverse section lunate, shallowly 

lunate or semicircular, the base attenuate to cuneate, the 

apex narrowly acuminate or narrowly acute, the veins 

weakly pinnate (superficially appearing to have 3 longitu­

dinal veins), 

oil glands 

sparse to dense, distinct to obscure, 

scattered. 

Inflorescences 

spicate, pseudoterminal, with 

1–12 monads, up to 18 mm wide. 

Hypanthium 

glabrous, 

2.2–2.7 mm long. 

Calyx lobes 

abaxially glabrous, 0.5–1.2 

long, scarious in a broad marginal band 1–2 mm wide. 

Petals 

deciduous, 1.8–2.4 mm long. 



Stamens 

11–21 per 

bundle; filaments cream, 4.6–6.8 mm long, the bundle 

claw 3.3–4.4 mm long, 0.6–0.7 times as long as the fila­

ments. 

Style 

4.9–6.3 mm long. 



Ovules 

60–75 per locule. 



Fruit 

3.5–5 mm long, with sepaline teeth or rarely the 

lobes persistent; cotyledons planoconvex to flattened 

planoconvex.



Natural occurrence:

 Western Australia: from the 

Dumbleyung district eastwards to the Hyden–Newdegate 

district.

Ecology:

 Recorded as occurring in open eucalypt 

woodland, with scattered shrubs on a grassy roadside, in 

a swampy saline depression, saltmarsh, in sandy loam over 

clay, and gravelly sandy soil.



Flowering time:

 Recorded as flowering in October.

Essential oils:

 This species produced a predominantly 

monoterpenoid oil. The principal component of the leaf 

oil was 1,8­cineole (66.8%). This was accompanied by 

lesser amounts of a­pinene (14.1%), limonene (4.9%) 

and a­terpineol (4.4%). Sesquiterpenes accounted for 

less than 10% of the oil, with the principal components 

being spathulenol (1.2%), bicyclogermacrene (1.4%), vir­

idiflorene (0.7%) and globulol (0.8%). Also present was 

an unknown, assumed aromatic, compound of molecular 

weight 236 (1.6%).



Oil yield:

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

Melaleuca 

adenostyla

K.J.Cowley



70

Melaleuc

a adnat

a

 7



. Species ac

counts




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