Melaleuca quinquenervia

Melaleuca quinquenervia (Cav.) S. T. Blake

Common Names: Paper Bark Tree, Punk Tree, Cajeput Tree

Family: Myrtaceae

Habit: Melaleuca quinquenervia grows as a tree up to 25 m in height with a trunk to 1.5 m in diameter.  The bark is peels off but remains attached so that several layers of bark build up. The leaves are arranged alternately, to 10 cm in length, lanceolate to oblanceolate, with an acuminate leaf apex, an entire margin and 5 paralleled veins.  Young stems are pubescent.

The complete, perfect, actinomorphic, sessile flowers are arranged in terminal spikes with the stem growing beyond the inflorescence over time. The calyx and stamens are fused forming a hypanthium. The calyx has 5 fused sepals. The corolla has 5, white, fused petals that have linear/elliptic glands. There are numerous white stamens.  The ovary is inferior with 3 locules and numerous seeds.  The fruit is a round capsule.

Habitat: Melaleuca quinquenervia grows in Fresh Water Wetlands, and near wet Pine Woodlands and Dry Broadleaf Evergreen Formations -Forests/Shrublands (coppice).

Distribution: Melaleuca quinquenervia is NOT native to the Lucayan Archipelago.  It is native to Australia and parts of eastern Asia.  It occurs as an invasive species in the northern pine islands of the Lucayan Archipelago, the Caribbean, Central America, and Florida.

Medicinal/Cultural/Economic usage: Melaleuca quinquenervia is not used medicinally in the Lucayan Archipelago.

Melaleuca quinquenervia is a highly INVASIVE species that should be removed at all cost.  It invades Fresh Water Wetland areas and can destroy them.