Melaleuca teretifolia

Distribution Map
Family: Myrtaceae
Distribution: South west of Western Australia often in swampy and seasonally wet depressions.
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.
acidula...From Latin teres, rounded and folius, a leaf, referring to the leaves of this species which are round in cross section.
Conservation Status: Not considered to be at risk in the wild at the species level.

General Description:

Melaleuca teretifolia is a small to medium shrub from 1 to 3 metres high, usually erect in habit. The linear leaves are rounded in cross section (terete), 40-60 mm long and tapering to a sharp point. The flowers occur in globular-shaped clusters about 20 mm in diameter. The clusters are usually borne on the older branches and resemble the flowering habit of some Hakea species.

Melaleuca teretifolia
Melaleuca teretifolia - the normal white-flowered form
Photo: Brian Walters

Melaleuca teretifolia 'Georgiana Molloy'
Melaleuca teretifolia 'Georgiana Molloy'
Photo: Brian Walters

The flowers are usually white but pink and mauve forms are known. The cultivar 'Georgiana Molloy' (purple-pink flowers) is now regarded as a form of M.teretifolia (previously it was thought to be a hybrid with M.teretifolia as one parent).

M.teretifolia is not widely cultivated although it appears to be hardy in a range of climates and soils. It is one of the hardier Western Australian species in humid areas of the east coast where western species can be difficult to establish. It prefers a sunny position and plants are tolerant of at least moderate frost. The plants can be reluctant to flower under dry conditions.

Propagation is easy from both seed and cuttings. Particular forms, such as 'Georgiana Molloy', must be propagated from cuttings to ensure that plants true to the parent are obtained.

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