melaleuca, punktree, paperbark
- Melaleuca quinquenervia is a tall (up to 80 ft. [24.4 m]), evergreen tree in the eucalyptus family that invades wetland habitats in southern Florida. The bark is papery, layered, brownish-white and peeling.
- The alternate leaves are gray-green, oval, 1-4 in. (2.5-10.2 cm) long and smell of camphor when crushed.
- Flowering occurs throughout the year. The brush-like spikes of flowers are white in color.
- Flowers give way to small, woody, seed capsules. Seeds are spread by wind and water.
- Ecological Threat
- Melaleuca quinquenervia aggressively invades a variety of wetland habitats including sawgrass marshes, wet prairies, and aquatic sloughs. It often forms impenetrable thickets, reduces biodiversity, displaces native vegetation and reduces the value of these habitats for wildlife. It also accelerates the loss of groundwater due to increased evapotranspiration. Melaleuca quinquenervia is native to Australia, New Guinea, and New Caledonia and was first introduced into the United States in southern Florida in the early 1900s for landscaping and “swamp drying” purposes. Melaleuca quinquenervia a resembles red bottlebrush (Callistemon citrinus), but the flowers of C. citrinus are red.
- Munger, Gregory T. 2005. Melaleuca quinquenervia, Fire Effects Information System, U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Rocky Mountain Research Station, Fire Sciences Laboratory
- Global Invasive Species Database. 2011. Invasive Species Specialist Group (ISSG) of the IUCN Species Survival Commission
- Virginia Tech Department of Forest Resources and Environmental Conservation
- University of Florida, IFAS Extension, Center for Aquatic and Invasive Plants
- James A. Duke. 1983. Handbook of Energy Crops, Purdue University
- Plant Conservation Alliance's Alien Plant Working Group
- Florida Exotic Pest Plant Council
- USDA NRCS PLANTS
- USDA ARS GRIN
Images from Bugwood.org