Melaleuca megacephala

Distribution Map
Family: Myrtaceae
Distribution: Heath on sand, sandstone and rocky hills along the central coast of Western Australia.
Common Name: No generally accepted common name
Derivation of Name: Melaleuca...from Greek melas; black and leukos; white, referring to black marks on the white trunks of some species due to fire
megacephala... from Greek megas, large or great and cephale, head or front, referring to the large and conspicuous flower clusters.
Conservation Status: Not considered to be at risk in the wild.

General Description:

Melaleuca megacephala is an erect, bushy shrub from 0.5 to 3 metres high. The leaves are concave, elliptical to oval-shaped and 15-25 mm long. The flowers occur in globular shaped clusters on the ends of the branches (terminal). The cream to yellow clusters are are larger than most similarly-flowered melaleucas (about 30-35 mm in diameter) and occur during spring. The flowers are followed by globular seed capsules.

Melaleuca megacephala
Melaleuca megacephala
Photo: Brian Walters

Although native to a dry summer climate Melaleuca megacephala has been grown successfully in more humid climates, such as along the coastal strip east of the Great Dividing Range. However, it is probably not suited to sub-tropical and tropical climates. Despite the large flower clusters and neat foliage, this species seems to be only rarely cultivated. It requires a well drained, sunny position. The species responds to pruning to encourage a bushy shape. It is tolerent of light to moderate frost.

Propagation is easy from both seed and cuttings.

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