Melaleuca quinquenervia (Cav.) Blake


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.

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EDDMapS Distribution

EDDMapS Distribution - This map is incomplete and is based only on current site and county level reports made by experts, herbaria, and literature. For more information, visit

State Regulated List

State Regulated List - This map identifies those states that list this species on their regulated list. For more information, visit

State Regulated List
   No Data for this state
   Troublesome or Common weed in one or more crops

Most Troublesome / Most Common Agricultural Weed List
This map identifies those states that consider this species either most troublesome or most common in at least one commodity. For more information, visit the MTMC project page.

Taxonomic Rank

Kingdom: Plantae
Phylum: Magnoliophyta
Class: Magnoliopsida
Subclass: Rosidae
Order: Myrtales
Family: Myrtaceae
Genus: Melaleuca
Subject: Melaleuca quinquenervia (Cav.) Blake

Synonyms and Other Names

Other Common Names:
punktree, paperbark


Plants - Hardwood Trees