Melaleuca suberosa

Distribution Map
Family: Myrtaceae
Distribution: South coast and hinterland of Western Australia.
Common Name: Cork-bark honey myrtle
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
suberosa... from Latin suberosus, cork-like, referring to the bark on the stems.
Conservation Status: Not considered to be at risk in the wild.

General Description:

Melaleuca suberosa is a small shrub to about 1 metre high but often less in exposed areas. The stems have a corky texture, which gives rise to both the common name and the species epithet. The small leaves are linear in shape to about 6-7 mm long. Flowers occur in clusters along the older stems, often forming extended "spikes" of flowers. They are deep mauve to purple and are seen in late winter and spring. The flowers are followed by globular seed capsules.

Melaleuca suberosa
Melaleuca suberosa
Photo: Brian Walters

Many species that are native to the south-west of Australia can be difficult to maintain for long periods in more humid areas of the east coast. M.suberosa is reasonably hardy in southern areas of the east coast and west of the Great Dividing Range. However, it becomes more difficult to establish further north and is probably not suited to sub-tropical and tropical climates. It is an interesting species because of the corky bark and is very attractive when in flower. It requires a well drained, sunny position. The species responds to pruning but this should be avoided as it will reduce flowering for a season or two. It is tolerant of light to moderate frost.

Propagation is easy from both seed and cuttings.

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