Melaleuca thymifolia

Distribution Map
Family: Myrtaceae
Distribution: East coast of New South Wales and southern Queensland extending about 200km inland.
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
thymifolia...a reference to the resemblance of the leaves to those of the genus Thymus, thyme.
Conservation Status: Not considered to be at risk in the wild.

General Description:

Melaleuca thymifolia is one of the most widely cultivated members of the genus and is well established in general horticulture.

Melaleuca thymifolia
The common purple-flowered form of Melaleuca thymifolia
Photo: Brian Walters

The species forms a small shrub rarely exceeding 1 metre in height. The flowers occur in clusters on the older stems and have a distinctive "claw" configuration which clearly shows the united stamens that are a feature of the genus. The flower colour is usually mauve or purple but pink and white forms are in cultivation under the names of "Pink Lace" and "White Lace" (as shown in the photos).

The leaves are oblong-elliptical in shape and about 10mm long.

Melaleuca thymifolia 'Pink Lace'

Melaleuca thymifolia 'White Lace'
Melaleuca thymifolia cultivars: 'Pink Lace' (top) and
'White Lace' (bottom)

Photos: Brian Walters

Melaleuca thymifolia has proven to be adaptable over a wide range of climates and will tolerate less than perfect drainage. However, best performance is achieved under conditions of good drainage with assured moisture. Flowering is best in sunny positions but the species will tolerate shade with reduced flowering and some sparseness in habit. The species responds to annual fertilising after flowering and to an annual light pruning to encourage a bushy shape.

Propagation is easy from both seed and cuttings.


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