Melaleuca ericifolia

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Melaleuca ericifolia
Melaleuca ericifolia 1900.jpg
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Plantae
(unranked): Angiosperms
(unranked): Eudicots
(unranked): Rosids
Order: Myrtales
Family: Myrtaceae
Genus: Melaleuca
Species: M.ericifolia
Binomial name
Melaleuca ericifolia
  • Myrtoleucodendron ericifolium (Sm.) Kuntze
  • Cajuputi ericifolia (Sm.) A.Lyons
  • Melaleuca ternifolia Miq.
  • Melaleuca gunniana Schauer
  • Melaleuca gunniana var. capitata Miq.
  • Melaleuca heliophila Miq.
  • Melaleuca pinifolia Colla

Melaleuca ericifolia, commonly known as swamp paperbark, is a shrub or small tree in the genus Melaleuca, native to Australia.[1]

The species grows to between 2 and 9 metres in height and has pale papery bark[2] The linear leaves are dark green and scattered or in whorls of three.[3][4] These are 7 to 15 mm long and about 1 mm wide.[3] The white flower spikes are 0.7 to 1.7 cm in length and appear from October to November in the species native range.[2][3] These are followed by 3 mm diameter woody capsules in oblong clusters.[2]

The species was first formally described by English botanist James Edward Smith in 1797 in Transactions of the Linnean Society of London from material collected in New South Wales. The variety Melaleuca ericifolia var. erubescens which was described by botanist George Bentham in Flora Australiensis in 1867 is currently regarded as a synonym of Melaleuca diosmatifolia.[1]

Melaleuca ericifolia occurs beside streams and in coastal swamps in heath and dry sclerophyll forest in and New South Wales, Victoria and Tasmania.[3]


Melaleuca ericifolia is a fast-growing species which has fragrant flowers which attract birds.[4] It is able to withstand permanently wet soil, salt, coastal exposure, shade and moderate frost.[4] Plants may be pruned to maintain them at a more compact size.[4]


  1. ^ a b c "Melaleuca ericifolia". Australian Plant Name Index (APNI), IBIS database. Centre for Plant Biodiversity Research, Australian Government, Canberra. Retrieved 2009-09-07. 
  2. ^ a b c Costermans, L. (1981). Native Trees and Shrubs of South-eastern Australia. Australia: Rigby. ISBN 072701403x. 
  3. ^ a b c d Wilson, Peter G. "Melaleuca ericifolia". PlantNET - New South Wales Flora Online. Royal Botanic Gardens & Domain. Retrieved 2009-09-07. 
  4. ^ a b c d Greig, D. (1987). The Australian Gardener's Wildflower Catalogue. Australia: Angus & Robertson. ISBN 0207154600.