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


oil glands  sparse, distinct, scat­ tered.  Inflorescences



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oil glands 

sparse, distinct, scat­

tered. 

Inflorescences 

spicate, lateral, with c. 30 monads, 

up to 35 mm wide. 

Hypanthium 

hairy, 1.8–2.5 mm long. 



Calyx lobes 

abaxially hairy, 1.6–2.1 mm long, herba­

ceous to (or almost to) the margin. 

Petals 

deciduous, 

3.5–4.4 mm long. 

Stamens 

11–16 per bundle; filaments 

red, 15–18 mm long, the bundle claw 8–10.2 mm long, 

0.5–0.6 times as long as the filaments. 



Style 

15–22 mm 

long. 

Ovules 

110–140 per locule. 



Fruit 

not seen.



Natural occurrence:

 Western Australia: the Laverton 

– Lake Minigwal district.



Ecology:

 Recorded as occurring in mallee shrubland, 

on deep red sand.



Flowering time:

 Recorded as flowering in June and 

July.


Essential oils:

 This species presented a monoter­

penoid oil. The principal component was 1,8­cineole 

(81.3%). This was accompanied by lesser amounts of 

a­pinene (3.4%), limonene (3.8%), a­terpineol (4.9%), 

b­pinene (0.9%) and p­cymene (0.8%). Sesquiterpenes 

were neither numerous nor plentiful, with the principal 

components being spathulenol (0.3%), globulol and vir­

idiflorol (both 0.1%).

Oil yield:

 This analysis was performed on 0.3 g of a 

4­year­old air­dried herbarium sample and as a result there 

is no oil yield given.



Notes:

 This species is little known but it could be worth 

trialling as an ornamental in arid regions, as suggested by 

Elliot and Jones (1993).



Melaleuca 

apostiba

K.J.Cowley



77

7. Species ac

counts

 —

Melaleuc



a ar

auc

arioide

s

Publication:

 in Quinn, Cowley, Barlow & Thiele, Nuyt-

sia 8: 334, fig. 1a (1992)



Derivation:

 araucarioides, from Araucaria, a genus of 

Araucariaceae, and the Greek ­oides, resembling, in refer­

ence to the perceived similarity between the leafy shoots 

of this plant and those of Araucaria

Description:

 

Shrub 

to 1.5 m tall; bark rough, pale 

grey. 

Branchlets 

glabrescent, minutely squamose, seri­

ceous­lanuginulose. 

Leaves 

ternate, 1.9–3.7 mm long, 

0.8–1.4 mm wide, 2–3 times as long as wide, subsessile; 

blade glabrescent, lanuginulose­puberulous, oblong, 

narrowly elliptic or narrowly ovate, in transverse section 

shallowly lunate or transversely semielliptic, the base 

narrowly cuneate to rounded, the apex acute to rounded 

or obtusely shortly acuminate, the veins longitudinal, 3, 



oil glands 

obscure, more or less in rows. 



Inflorescences 

spi­


cate, pseudoterminal (or commonly determinate in male 

inflorescences), with 2–17 monads, up to 14 mm wide. 



Hypanthium 

glabrous, 0.8–1.2 mm long. 



Calyx lobes 

abax­


ially glabrous, 0.5–0.8 mm long, herbaceous to (or 

almost to) the margin or scarious in a narrow marginal 

band c. 0.5 mm wide. 

Petals 

deciduous, 1–1.3 mm long. 



Stamens 

3–5 per bundle; filaments cream, 1.8–5 mm long, 

the bundle claw 0.8–1.4 mm long, 0.3–0.4 times as long 

as the filaments. 



Style 

4.5–5.5 mm long. 



Ovules 

c. 20 per 

locule. 

Fruit 

2.5 mm long, with sepaline teeth; cotyledons 

planoconvex (approaching planoconvex).

Natural occurrence: Western Australia: the Ongerup – 

Cape Riche – Jerramungup district.



Ecology:

 Recorded as occurring in open eucalypt wood­

land, dense heathland, tall shrubland, on gravelly sand, 

rocky loam over shale, and shallow red loamy clay.

Flowering time:

 Recorded as flowering from July to 

October.


Essential oils:

 This species produced a monoterpenoid 

leaf oil. The principal component was a­pinene (57.1%) 

and this was accompanied by lesser amounts of 1,8­cineole 

(25.8%), b­pinene (3.2%), limonene (2.8%), a­terpineol 

(2.3%) and trans­pinocarveol (1.2%). Sesquiterpenes were 

neither numerous nor plentiful. The main members were 

spathulenol (1.7%), globulol (0.8%) and viridiflorol (0.3%).

Oil yield:

 The oil yield (fresh weight, w/w) was 

0.5–1.0%.

Notes:

 The unusual leaf arrangement and small white 

flower heads combine to make this species worth 

experimenting with as an ornamental for Mediterranean 

climates. Holliday (2004) reported it has succeeded in 

Adelaide, South Australia.

ALREADY SCALED TO 150%

Melaleuca 

araucarioides

Barlow


78

Melaleuc

a ar

cana

 —

 7



. Species ac

counts


Publication:

 Contributions from the Queensland Her-

barium 1: 54, figs 10, 15J (1968)



Derivation:

 arcana, from the Latin arcanus, secret, mys­

terious, in reference to the apparent rarity of the species



Description:

 

Tree or shrub 

0.4–15 m tall; bark papery, 

whitish. 

Branchlets 

hairy to glabrescent, sericeous. 



Leaves 

alternate, 23–75 mm long, 7–26 mm wide, 

2–5.5 times as long as wide, long­petiolate to short­

petiolate; blade glabrescent, sericeous, elliptic, obovate, 

narrowly to broadly elliptic or narrowly to broadly obo­

vate, in transverse section transversely linear or oblunate

the base attenuate, the apex usually obtuse (sometimes 

acute, rounded, obtusely shortly acuminate or retuse), 

the veins longitudinal, 5–11, 

oil glands 

moderately dense, 

obscure, scattered. 

Inflorescences 

capitate, pseudoterminal 

and sometimes also upper axillary, with 5–11 triads, up 

to 18 mm wide. 



Hypanthium 

hairy, 1.4–1.6 mm long. 



Calyx lobes 

abaxially glabrous, 0.9–1 mm long, scarious 

in a marginal band 0.15–3 mm wide. 

Petals 

deciduous, 

1.5–2 mm long. 

Stamens 

6–9 per bundle; filaments 

white, 5–5.5 mm long, the bundle claw 0.8–1.5 mm long, 

0.2 times as long as the filaments. 



Style 

c. 6 mm long. 



Ovules 

25–40 per locule. 



Fruit 

2.5–4 mm long, the calyx 

lobes deciduous or rarely persistent; cotyledons obvolute.

Natural occurrence:

 Queensland: from the tip of 

Cape York Peninsula south to the Cooktown district.

Ecology:

 Recorded as occurring in tall lowland swamp 

forest, Acacia thicket, heath, shrubland, and on sand.



Flowering time:

 Recorded as flowering from January 

to November.



Essential oils:

  The leaf oil of this species was 

dominated by monoterpenes. It appeared to exist in 

two chemical forms. The principal compounds in the 

first form were a­pinene (26–51%) and 1,8­cineole 

(10–39%). These were accompanied by lesser amounts of 

limonene (4–6%), sabinene (0.2–7.0%), b­pinene (1–3%), 

g­terpinene (0.7–7.0%), terpinen­4­ol (0.3–8.0%, this in 

the bulk sample) and a­terpineol (2–7%). Sesquiter penes, 

while numerous, did not contribute much to the oil, with 

the major components being germacrene­D (1–2%), 

d­cadinene (2–4%) and a­cadinol (0.7–2.0%). The sec­

ond chemical form contained terpinen­4­ol (23–31%) as 

principal component, with significant amounts of 1,8­cin­

eole (2–27%), a­pinene (5–12%), limonene (5–6%), 

g­terpinene (4–8%), p­cymene (3–8%) and a­terpineol 

(3–7%). Once again, sesquiterpenes did not contribute 

much to the oil.

Oil yield:

 The oil yield (fresh weight, w/w) was 0.6–1.0%.

References on essential oils:

 Brophy et al. 1988; 

Brophy and Doran 1996



Notes:

 This species has attractive foliage but, as noted by 

Wrigley and Fagg (1993), the flowers are not noteworthy. 

Should hybrids between red­flowered forms of M. nervosa 

or M. viridiflora be successful, it might be possible to com­

bine the desirable foliage of M. arcana with red flowers 

from another species and thus produce plants of horticul­

tural merit for tropical environments.

The chemotype containing significant amounts of 

terpinen­4­ol is interesting, though the oil yield would 

have to be improved.

ALREADY SCALED TO 200%



Melaleuca 

arcana

S.T.Blake



79

7. Species ac

counts

 —

Melaleuc



a ar

gent

ea

Publication:

 Journal and Proceedings of the Royal 

Society of Western Australia 3: 187 (1918)



Derivation:

 argentea, from the Latin argenteus, silvery, 

in reference to the typically sivery colour of the foliage

Description:

 

Tree or shrub 

3–45 m tall; bark papery, 

white, creamy grey or reddish. 

Branchlets 

hairy to gla­

brescent (rarely glabrous), sericeous. 

Leaves 

alternate, 

53–130 mm long, 7–24 mm wide, 5–14 times as long as 

wide (often 7–14), long­petiolate; blade hairy to glabres­

cent (rarely subglabrous), sericeous, very narrowly elliptic, 

very narrowly ovate, narrowly elliptic or falcate, in trans­

verse section transversely linear (to slightly oblunate), 

the base attenuate, the apex narrowly acute, narrowly 

acuminate, acute or acuminate, the veins longitudinal, 

5–9, 


oil glands 

moderately dense to dense, obscure to dis­

tinct, scattered. 

Inflorescences 

spicate, pseudoterminal or 

interstitial and often also upper axillary, with 5–20 triads, 

up to 30 mm wide. 



Hypanthium 

hairy, 1.3–2.3 mm long. 



Calyx lobes 

abaxially hairy, 1.1–1.5 mm long, scarious in a 

band 0.1–0.3 mm wide. 

Petals 

deciduous, 2.6–3.2 mm long. 



Stamens 

7–9 per bundle; filaments white, creamy­yellow or 

creamy­green, 8–10 mm long, the bundle claw 1.2–1.8 mm 

long, 0.2 times as long as the filaments. 



Style 

9.5–14 mm 

long. 

Ovules 

c. 50–60 per locule. 



Fruit 

2.5–4 mm long, the 

calyx lobes deciduous; cotyledons obvolute.

Natural occurrence:

 Western Australia, Northern 

Territory, Queensland: from the Gascoyne River district 

in Western Australia eastwards to the northern part of the 

Northern Territory and northern Queensland.



Ecology:

 Recorded as occurring in gallery forest, along 

stream lines, on sand, white clay, brown silty clay, and 

coarse sand among granite boulders.

Flowering time:

 Recorded as flowering from January 

to November.



Essential oils:

 This species presented a variable oil 

but, for the most part, monoterpenes predominated. One 

sample (BVG 2307) contained a­pinene (3–10%), 1,8­cin­

eole (2–15%), g­terpinene (7–10%), sabinene (6–19%) and 

terpinen­4­ol (13–18%) as major compounds. A second 

sample (BVG 2251) showed a­pinene (10–15%), limonene 

(18–30%), 1,8­cineole (3–12%), g­terpinene (3–11%) and 

terpinolene (3–12%) as major components. While a third 

sample (GJM 1719) gave a sesquiterpenic oil, with several 

samples containing E­nerolidol (88–92%) as principal 

component and another sample containing 1,8­cineole 

(26%), bicyclogermacrene (12%), globulol (10%), viridi­

florol (8%) and spathulenol (10%) as major components.

Oil yield:

 The oil yield (dry weight, w/w) was 0.1–1.2%.

Reference on essential oils: 

Brophy and Doran 1996



Notes:

 Melaleuca argentea is a characteristic riparian tree 

along the larger streams in monsoonal northern Australia 

and its silvery foliage readily permits its distinction from 

the other common riparian species of the genus, M. leu-

cadendra. Where conditions permit, it often is rheophytic. 

The species is well­suited for planting in parks, road verges 

etc. in tropical and subtropical regions. The existence of 

forms containing high amounts of E­nerolidol are worthy 

of note, though a good oil yield would be needed before 

commercial cultivation could be undertaken.

The populations in the Pilbara region, Western Australia, 

may be separated as a distinct species as a result of DNA 

studies by Robert Edwards (pers. comm.).

ALREADY SCALED TO 200%

Melaleuca 

argentea

W.Fitzg.


80

Melaleuc

a armillaris

 —

 7



. Species ac

counts


Taxonomy:

 Two subspecies are recognised within this 

species: subsp. akineta F.C.Quinn and subsp. armillaris

Publications:

 Australian Systematic Botany 3: 188, 

fig. 9b (1990), subsp. akineta; Transactions of the Linnean 

Society of London 3: 277 (1797), subsp. armillaris



Derivation:

 akineta, from the Greek akinetos, not mov­

ing, in reference to its apparently relictual distribution in 

South Australia; armillaris, from the Latin armilla, brace­

let, apparently in reference to a perceived resemblance of 

the inflorescence or infructescence to a bracelet 

Description:

 

Shrub or tree 

1.2–4 m tall; bark papery 

or fibrous, whitish or greyish­white. 

Branchlets 

soon 


glabrescent (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 glabrescent (the lanuginulose hairs ephem­

eral), linear, oblong, narrowly elliptic, elliptic, narrowly 

ovate or ovate, in transverse section lunate, conduplicate­

involute or transversely linear, the base attenuate to 

rounded, the apex acuminate, narrowly acute or nar­

rowly acuminate, the veins weakly pinnate (superficially 

appearing to have 3 longitudinal veins), 



oil glands 

sparse, 


distinct to obscure, scattered. 

Inflorescences 

spicate, lat­

eral (often developing on older wood), with 1–8 monads, 

6–20 mm wide. 



Hypanthium 

glabrous, 1.2–2.7 mm long. 



Calyx lobes 

abaxially glabrous, 0.5–1.4 mm long, scari­

ous 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 fila­

ments. 

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; cotyledons 

planoconvex to subobvolute.



Melaleuca 

armillaris

(Sol. ex Gaertn.) Sm.



7. Species ac

counts


 —

Melaleuc



a armillaris

81

7. Species ac



counts — 

Melaleuc

a armillaris 

(c

on



tinued

)

Natural occurrence:



 subsp. akineta: South Australia: 

from the Lake Gairdner district south to the Darke Peak 

district. subsp. armillaris: New South Wales, Victoria, 

Tasmania: from the Manning River district in coastal New 

South Wales south to far­eastern Victoria, extending to 

islands of Bass Strait. Naturalised locally in south­western 

Western Australia, south­eastern South Australia, Victoria 

and the Australian Capital Territory. 



Ecology:

 subsp. akineta: Recorded as occurring on 

ridges and granite inselbergs. subsp. armillaris: Recorded 

as occurring in open coastal heathlands, dense thickets 

along cliff tops, on headlands, and on a flat sandstone 

plateau. 

Flowering time:

 subsp. akineta: Recorded as flowering 

from September to October. subsp. armillaris: Recorded 

as flowering from April to December.

Essential oils:

 subsp. akineta: The leaf oil of this sub­

species was dominated by monoterpenes. The principal 

component was 1,8­cineole (72–79%). This was accom­

panied by lesser amounts of a­pinene (4–6%), limonene 

(8–9%), b­pinene (1–2%) and a­terpineol (4–6%). The 

principal sesquiterpenes were globulol, spathulenol and 

aromadendrene (all <0.6%). subsp. armillaris: The leaf oil 

of this subspecies was dominated by monoterpenes, with 

1,8­cineole (66–73%) being the most prominent compo­

nent. Other components found in the oil in lesser amounts 

were limonene (5–9%), a­pinene (1–5%), myrcene 

(1–2%), terpinen­4­ol (1–3%) and a­terpineol (3–4%). 

Sesquiterpenes contributed little to the oil, with the most 

prominent members being b­caryophyllene (1–3%), 

aromadendrene (0.2–2.0%), d­cadinene (0.7–2.0%) and 

globulol (0.3–2.0%). 

Oil yield:

 subsp. akineta: The oil yield (fresh weight, 

w/w) was 0.6%. subsp. armillaris: The oil yield (fresh 

weight, w/w) was 0.1–0.3%. 

Reference on essential oils: 

Brophy and Lassak 

1983

Notes:

 The two subspecies are distinguished as follows: 



subsp. akineta: Leaf blade with oil glands scattered. subsp. 

armillaris: Leaf blade with oil glands in rows or more or 

less so. 

Melaleuca armillaris subsp. armillaris is widely planted 

in southern Australia for shelter belts, road verge plantings 

etc. It is not especially showy and in domestic gardens is 

mainly useful for providing a fast­growing screen. This 

subspecies can become naturalised and is weedy in some 

places, notably in the south­west of Western Australia and 

the south­west of Victoria.


82

Melaleuc

a aspalathoide

s

 7



. Species ac

counts


Publication:

 in Lehmann, Plantae Preissianae 1: 140 

(1844)


Derivation:

 aspalathoides, from Aspalathus, a genus of 

Fabaceae, and the Greek ­oides, resembling, in reference to 

the similarity between the foliage of this plant and that of 

some species of Aspalathus

Description:

 

Shrub 

0.2–1.5 m tall. 



Branchlets 

hairy (at 

length glabrescent), with dense lanuginulose to lanuginu­

lose­puberulous and sericeous­lanuginulose hairs overlaid 

with fairly dense appressed to ascending (rarely to spread­

ing), sericeous to sericeous­pubescent or (rarely) pubescent 

hairs. 

Leaves 

alternate, 7–28 mm long, 0.6–1.3 mm wide, 

9–30 times as long as wide, sessile to subsessile; blade hairy 

or rarely glabrescent, the hairs as on the branchlets, linear 

to linear­obovate, in transverse section depressed obo­

vate, subcircular to circular or transversely elliptic (rarely 

more or less rounded depressed obtriangular), the base 

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

apex narrowly acute to obtuse, the veins longitudinal, 3, 

oil glands 

moderately dense to dense, distinct, scattered. 



Inflorescences 

capitate, pseudoterminal and sometimes 

also upper axillary, with 2–5 triads, up to 30 mm wide. 

Hypanthium 

hairy, 2.5–4 mm long. 



Calyx lobes 

abaxially 

hairy, 1.6–4 mm long, herbaceous to the margin or scarious 

in a marginal band up to c. 0.2 mm wide. 



Petals 

caducous 

(rarely tardily so), 2.5–4 mm long. 

Stamens 

8–12 per bun­

dle; filaments purple, pink or mauve, 10.5–21.5 mm long, 

the bundle claw 4.5–8.5 mm long, 0.3–0.5 times as long as 

the filaments. 

Style 

17.5–22 mm long. 



Ovules 

15–20 per 

locule. 

Infructescences 

peg­fruited. 



Fruit 

3–5 mm long, the 

calyx lobes weathering away; cotyledons obvolute.

Natural occurrence:

 Western Australia: from the 

Mingenew–Eneabba district south to the Brookton–Tam­

min district.



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