Melaleuca alternifolia PLANT PORTRAIT

Melaleuca alternifolia,Tea Tree - an evergreen shrub from the myrtle plant family in Australia where the flowers and their nectar attract fl...

Melaleuca alternifolia,Tea Tree - an evergreen shrub from the myrtle plant family in Australia where the flowers and their nectar attract flying foxes as well as birds. The white flowers are produced in dense clusters along the tips of stems in the classic ‘bottle brush’ shape. The essential oil produced from these trees is famous for anti-fungal and antibiotic properties and is marketed as Tea Tree Oil. The colourless or pale yellow essential oil (known as Niaouli oil or Gomenol) is steam distilled from the leaves and twigs. Today it can be found as an ingredient in various pharmaceutical products, particularly for rheumatism and the treatment of sunburn, as well as cough, cold and toothache preparations.

The bark was once used to make native shields and also came to be employed for roofing, caulking and packing. It was used as a substitute for paper and some of the ancient sacred writings made on it have survived to this day. The bark has been used like cork (Quercus suber) for insulation, and it has been used as filling in life belts and fishing floats, and pillows and mattresses. These are very popular garden plants and very drought tolerant.

delicate white bottle brush flowers 

mature tree 

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Plant Information 1084178787472877721

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