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Published In: Systema Naturae, ed. 12 2: 507, 509. 1767. (Syst. Nat. (ed. 12)) Name publication detail

Project Name Data (Last Modified On 4/3/2012)
Acceptance : Accepted
Project Data     (Last Modified On 4/3/2012)
Contributor Text:


Contributor Institution:

Don McNair Herbarium, School of Environmental and Life Sciences, The University of Newcastle, Callaghan, NSW-2308, Australia

E-mails: abdul.ghafour@newcastle.edu.au; artemisiella89@gmail.com


A moderate-sized genus of c. 250 species, of which 215 are endemic to Australia and the rest in Indo-Malaya. Represented in our flora by 2 cultivated species.


In Melaleuca the stamens are longer than petals and this character is used to separate it from many genera. It is similar to Callistemon and Kunzea but differs in having the stamens united in bundles opposite the petals.


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Evergreen trees and shrubs with thin, papery, occasionally scaly or hard and furrowed bark on main trunk and branches. Leaves alternate, rarely opposite or whorled, usually subsessile, entire, flat, concave or semi-cylindrical, coriaceous, with or without glands. Flowers sessile, bisexual or polygamous, solitary in axils of leafy bracts, in heads or cylindrical spikes, the axis usually growing beyond into a leafy shoot. Calyx tube campanulate or urceolate, adnate to the ovary below, limb 4 (-5)-lobed, lobes imbricate, herbaceous or scarious. Corolla of 5, ± orbicular, shortly clawed petals. Stamens numerous, much longer than petals, filaments united below into 5 antipetalous bundles; anthers dorsifixed and versatile. Carpels 3, united into a 3-locular ovary with numerous ovules in each locule; style filiform, with a peltate or capitate stigma. Fruit small, woody, sessile or shortly pedicellate, 3-valved capsule, enclosed in hardened calyx tube, usually remaining on stem.

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Leaves linear to very narrowly elliptic, 8-18 x 1-2 mm. Stamens >20-40 in each bundle.
1. M. decora
Leaves linear-lanceolate to narrowly ovate-elliptic, 6 – 15 (-18) x 1 – 2.5 (-4) cm. Stamens. <20 in each bundle.
2. M. leucadendra

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