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Common Name: Black Tea Tree
Melaleuca bracteata is an evergreen shrub that can grow up to 6.00 metres tall.
It is harvested from the wild for local use as a medicine and source of materials..
Australia - New South Wales, South Australia, Northern Territories, Queensland.
Banks of rivers and streams[
We do not have much information on this species and do not know if it will be hardy in Britain. If it does succeed outdoors then it is only likely to do so in the very mildest parts of the country. It tolerates temperatures down to at least -7°c in Australian gardens but this cannot be translated directly to British gardens because of our cooler summers and longer colder and wetter winters.
Requires a fertile, well-drained moisture retentive lime-free soil in full sun[
]. Prefers a soil that does not contain much nitrogen[
]. Plants succeed in wet soils when they are grown in Australian gardens[
Seed takes about 12 months to develop on the plant, the woody seed capsules persist for 3 or more years[
Any pruning is best done after the plants have flowered with the intention of maintaining a compact habit[
Hybridizes freely with other members of this genus[
Plants in this genus are notably resistant to honey fungus[
An essential oil obtained from the fresh leaves and twigs is antiseptic[
An essential oil obtained from the leaves is germicidal and is used in insecticides to increase their potency[
]. The oil is heavier than water[
Seed - surface sow in spring or autumn onto a pot of permanently moist soil in a warm greenhouse. Emmerse in 5cm of water and do not water from overhead. Grow on until the seedlings are 0.5cm tall then remove from the water and pot up a week later. Seedlings are liable to damp off when grown this way, sowing the seed thinly, good ventilation and hygiene are essential for success[
]. Grow the plants on for at least their first winter in a greenhouse and then plant them out in late spring or early summer, after the last expected frosts. Consider giving the plants some protection from the cold for their first few winters outdoors.
Cuttings of half-ripe lateral shoots with a heel, mid summer in a frame[