Melaleuca nesophila

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Showy honey-myrtle
Jardi botanic de barcelona melaleuca nesophila.jpg
M. nesophila in the Barcelona Botanic Garden
Scientific classification edit
Kingdom: Plantae
Clade: Angiosperms
Clade: Eudicots
Clade: Rosids
Order: Myrtales
Family: Myrtaceae
Genus: Melaleuca
Species:
M. nesophila
Binomial name
Melaleuca nesophila
Synonyms[1]
  • Myrtoleucodendron nesophyllum (F.Muell.) Kuntze

Melaleuca nesophila, commonly known as showy honey-myrtle, mindiyed or pink melaleuca, is a plant in the myrtle family, Myrtaceae and is endemic to an area near Albany in Western Australia. The Noongar name for the plant is mindiyet.[2] Hardy and adaptable, with a dense crown of leaves and prolific heads of pink or purple flowers in late spring and summer, it is one of the most commonly cultivated melaleuca shrubs.

Description[edit]

Melaleuca nesophila is a large shrub or small tree growing to 4.7–6 m (20–20 ft) in height by 4–5 m (10–20 ft) in width. It has greyish-white, papery bark and a dense crown which often reaches to the ground. Its leaves are arranged alternately, 11–26 mm (0.4–1 in) long, 4–9 mm (0.2–0.4 in) wide, flat, elliptic to narrow egg-shaped with rounded ends.[3][4]

The lavender to rose pink "pom-pom" flowers appear over a long period from spring to mid-summer. The flowers are arranged in heads or short spikes on the ends of branches which continue to grow after flowering and sometimes also in the upper leaf axils. The heads are up to 30 mm (1 in) in diameter and contain between 2 and 20 groups of flowers in threes. The fruit are woody capsules 3–5 mm (0.1–0.2 in) long, arranged in roughly spherical clusters about 20 mm (0.8 in) in diameter.[3][4][5]

M. nesophila fruit

Taxonomy and naming[edit]

Melaleuca nesophila was first formally described in 1862 by Ferdinand von Mueller in Fragmenta Phytographiae Australiae[6] from a specimen collected on the rocks of the Doubtful Islands near Bremer Bay by Augustus Oldfield.[7] The specific epithet (nesophila) is from the Ancient Greek nesos meaning "an island"[8] and phílos meaning “dear" or "beloved",[9] referring to the location of the type specimen.[3]

Distribution and habitat[edit]

Melaleuca nesophila occurs in the Gairdner River and East Mount Barren districts as well as nearby offshore islands, in the Esperance Plains biogeographic region. It grows in sand near quartzite rocks, usually in dense scrub.[10]

Ecology[edit]

This species is naturalised in some parts of Victoria where it is considered a serious environmental weed because it replaces indigenous vegetation.[11]

Conservation[edit]

This species is classified as "not threatened" by the Government of Western Australia Department of Parks and Wildlife.[10]

Use in horticulture[edit]

Melaleuca nesophila is cultivated as an ornamental plant by plant nurseries, for use in gardens and drought tolerant landscaping. It is planted as a flowering shrub, or with training, as a small ornamental tree.[5] It grows in full sun to part shade, in sandy or clay loam soils. Once established, it will tolerate extended dry periods as well as coastal conditions.[12][13]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "The Plant List: A Working List of All Plant Species".
  2. ^ "Noongar names for plants". kippleonline.net. Archived from the original on 20 November 2016. Retrieved 11 December 2016.
  3. ^ a b c Brophy, Joseph J.; Craven, Lyndley A.; Doran, John C. (2013). Melaleucas : their botany, essential oils and uses. Canberra: Australian Centre for International Agricultural Research. p. 252. ISBN 9781922137517.
  4. ^ a b Holliday, Ivan (2004). Melaleucas : a field and garden guide (2nd ed.). Frenchs Forest, N.S.W.: Reed New Holland Publishers. pp. 200–201. ISBN 1876334983.
  5. ^ a b "Melaleuca nesophila". San Marcos Growers. Retrieved 4 June 2015.
  6. ^ von Mueller, Ferdinand (1862). Fragmenta Phytographiae Australiae. Melbourne. pp. 113–114. Retrieved 4 June 2015.
  7. ^ "Melaleuca nesophila". APNI. Retrieved 4 June 2015.
  8. ^ Quattrocchi, Umberto (1999). CRC world dictionary of plant names : common names, scientific names, eponyms, synonyms, and etymology. Boca Raton, FL: CRC Press. p. 1815. ISBN 0-8493-2673-7. Retrieved 4 June 2015.
  9. ^ Brown, Roland Wilbur (1956). The Composition of Scientific Words. Washington, D.C.: Smithsonian Institution Press. p. 355.
  10. ^ a b "Melaleuca nesophila". FloraBase. Western Australian Government Department of Parks and Wildlife.
  11. ^ "Melaleuca nesophila". Queensland Government: Weeds of Australia. Retrieved 4 June 2015.
  12. ^ "Melaleuca nesophila". Australian Native Plant Society (Australia). Retrieved 4 June 2015.
  13. ^ "Melaleuca nesophila". Australian National Botanic Garden. Retrieved 4 June 2015.