Cajuputi hypericifolia (Sm.) Skeels
Metrosideros hypericifolia (Sm.) Salisb.
Myrtoleucodendron hypericifolium (Sm.) Kuntze
Common Name: Tea Tree
Melaleuca hypericifolia is a much-branched, aromatic evergreen shrub with more or less horizontal branches; it can grow up to 6 metres tall.
The plant is harvested from the wild for local use as a medicine. It can be grown as an ornamental, where it can be used as a wind-resistant hedge.
Australia - southeastern South Australia, Victoria, eastern New South Wales, southeastern Queensland.
Wet places in sandy heath and sclerophyll woodland and coastal headlands; chiefly in coastal districts, also found on moist ledges and cliffs of adjacent mountain ranges[
|Other Uses Rating
Melaleuca hypericifolia is native to the warm temperate zone of southeastern Australia, where it can experience temperatures as low as -5°c[
Requires a fertile, well-drained moisture retentive lime-free soil in full sun[
]. Prefers a soil that does not contain much nitrogen[
]. Succeeds in heavy shade and moist soils in Australian gardens but does not withstand heavy frosts[
]. Tolerates salt spray[
A very ornamental plant[
], but it can be difficult to establish[
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 anthelmintic, antiseptic, antispasmodic, diaphoretic and highly stimulant[
]. It is used internally as a stimulating expectorant in laryngitis and bronchitis, as an antiseptic in cystitis and as an anthelmintic for round worms[
]. It relieves headaches[
It is used externally to treat various skin infections[
Plants can be used for hedging in climates suitable for their growth[
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[