melaleuca

Myrtales > Myrtaceae > Melaleuca quinquenervia (Cav.) Blake
Synonym(s): punktree, paperbark

Melaleuca 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 and give way to small, woody, seed capsules. Seeds are spread by wind and water. Melaleuca 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 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 resembles red bottlebrush (Callistemon citrinus), but the flowers of C. citrinus are red.


Identification, Biology, Control and Management Resources


Selected Images from Invasive.org

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Foliage;
Amy Ferriter, South Florida Water Management District, Bugwood.org
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Bark; Thin layers of peeling bark
David Nance, USDA Agricultural Research Service, Bugwood.org
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Feature(s); papery trunk
Forest & Kim Starr, U.S. Geological Survey, Bugwood.org
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Flower(s);
Amy Ferriter, South Florida Water Management District, Bugwood.org
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Flower(s);
Tony Pernas, USDI National Park Service, Bugwood.org
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Flower(s); flwoers
Forest & Kim Starr, U.S. Geological Survey, Bugwood.org
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Fruit(s); fruits
Forest & Kim Starr, U.S. Geological Survey, Bugwood.org
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Fruit(s); Seed capsules.
Albert (Bud) Mayfield, Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services, Bugwood.org
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Fruit(s); capsules
Tony Pernas, USDI National Park Service, Bugwood.org
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Seed(s);
Tony Pernas, USDI National Park Service, Bugwood.org
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Infestation; Forms dense forests that can reach heights of over 20 meters.
Stephen Ausmus, USDA Agricultural Research Service, Bugwood.org
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Infestation; Small head/outliers
Amy Ferriter, South Florida Water Management District, Bugwood.org
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Infestation;
Tony Pernas, USDI National Park Service, Bugwood.org
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Stand; understory; north of Everglades National Park
John M. Randall, The Nature Conservancy, Bugwood.org
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Stand;
Randy Westbrooks, U.S. Geological Survey, Bugwood.org
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Tree(s); A tree from Australia, was introduced into south Florida in the early 1900s as a landscape ornamental, to dry up the Everglades and for use as a timber crop.
Alison Fox, University of Florida, Bugwood.org
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Tree(s);
David Nance, USDA Agricultural Research Service, Bugwood.org
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Tree(s);
Tony Pernas, USDI National Park Service, Bugwood.org
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Tree(s); large tree trunk with Kim
Forest & Kim Starr, U.S. Geological Survey, Bugwood.org
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Tree(s); habit
Forest & Kim Starr, U.S. Geological Survey, Bugwood.org
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Wildfire;
Tony Pernas, USDI National Park Service, Bugwood.org
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Wildfire;
Tony Pernas, USDI National Park Service, Bugwood.org
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Wildfire; post fire
Tony Pernas, USDI National Park Service, Bugwood.org
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Wildfire;
Tony Pernas, USDI National Park Service, Bugwood.org
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Control;
David J. Moorhead, University of Georgia, Bugwood.org
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Control;
David J. Moorhead, University of Georgia, Bugwood.org
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Infestation;
David J. Moorhead, University of Georgia, Bugwood.org
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Control;
Amy Ferriter, South Florida Water Management District, Bugwood.org
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Control;
Amy Ferriter, South Florida Water Management District, Bugwood.org
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Control; Hack and squirt chemical control treatment in Florida Everglades
Albert (Bud) Mayfield, Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services, Bugwood.org
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Control; Hack and squirt chemical control treatment in Florida Everglades
Albert (Bud) Mayfield, Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services, Bugwood.org
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Control; chainsaw control
Tony Pernas, USDI National Park Service, Bugwood.org
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Control;
Tony Pernas, USDI National Park Service, Bugwood.org
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Control;
Tony Pernas, USDI National Park Service, Bugwood.org
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Control;
Tony Pernas, USDI National Park Service, Bugwood.org
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Invasive Reference(s):

Check Invasive.org for most current lists.
  • Federal Noxious Weed List
  • California - Noxious Weed Law
  • Florida - EPPC list
  • Massachusetts - Noxious Weed Law
  • North Carolina - Noxious Weed Law
  • Oregon - Noxious Weed Law
  • South Carolina - Noxious Weed Law
  • Texas - Noxious Weed Law
  • Texas - Invasive Plant List
  • Vermont - Noxious Weed Law
  • Invasive Plants: Guide to Identification and the Impacts and Control of Common North American Species


External Links


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