Australian Paperbark Tree


Paperbark Tree is a kind of eucalypt found in Australia.


It can be any of the more than 200 species belonging to the genus Melaleuca in the family Myrtaceae, which are mostly endemic to Australia.

Myrtle Tree (Melaleuca Sp.) Forest in Morning Fog, Kakadu Nat'l Park, Australia
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Bark and Uses of Melaleucas
Paperbarks have got their name from their bark, which can be pulled off the tree trunk like paper. It was very useful for Aboriginal people who used it as bandages, cradles, sleeping mats and wrapping food when cooking. Other Melaleucas were used as bush medicine, particularly the famous Ti Tree (Melaleuca alternifolia), which is still today used for its essential oil that is antibiotic. Melaleucas have got evergreen leaves and flowers that can be red, pink, yellow or greenish. Their height can vary between 2 and 30 metres. They are related to Bottle Brush Plants (Callistemon), and the main difference between the two is how the stamens are grouped on the flowers. Melaleucas are mostly found in open forest, scrubland and woodland, and they often grow near the water like along swamps and riverbanks.

Low Angle View of Prickly-Leaved Paperbark Tree on a Landscape (Melaleuca Styphelioides)
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A Few Species of Paperbark Tree
Broad-leaved Paperbark Tree (Melaleuca quinquenervia) is mostly a small or medium-sized tree with creamy or greenish flowers, light-coloured bark and broad leaves, which is found along the eastern coast of Australia between Sydney in south and the top of Cape York peninsula in north. Long-leaved Paperbark (Melaleuca leucadendra) is a tall tree with white to creamy flowers, white bark and up to 20cm long leaves, which is found in northern Australia, between Rockhampton in east and Broome in west. Scented Paperbark (Melaleuca squarrosa) is a shrub or small tree with creamy or yellow flowers, small leaves and pale grey bark, which is found in whole Tasmania, and in the coastal areas of Victoria, eastern South Australia and southern New South Wales south of Sydney. Swamp Paperbark (Melaleuca ericifolia) is a small tree or small shrub with a low crown, pale bark, creamy to yellow flowers and narrow leaves, and it is found in places along the coasts of Victoria, Tasmania and New South Wales.

Birch bark curls as it peels from trunk
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A Few Species of Other Melaleucas
Broad Leaved Tea Tree (Melaleuca viridiflora) is a straggly scrub with pale bark, broad leaves and creamy or greenish yellow flowers, which is found along the whole coast of Queensland, Cape York peninsula and Gulf Savannah, northern and inland parts of Northern Territory, and the Kimberley region of Western Australia. Prickly-leaved Tea Tree (Melaleuca styphelioides) is a small or medium sized tree with alternate leaves, creamy and white flowers and spongy light-coloured bark, which is found along the coast of New South Wales and southern Queensland. Bracelet Honey Myrtle (Melaleuca armillaris) is a small tree or large shrub dark to light bark, alternate leaves and cream or pink flowers which is mainly found along the coast of New South Wales, but also in parts of Victoria, South Australia, and Flinders Island north of Tasmania.
















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