Australian Tropical Rainforest Plants - Online edition

Melaleuca viridiflora Sol. ex Gaertn.

Shrub (woody or herbaceous, 1-6 m tall)
Click/tap on images to enlarge
Leaves and flowers. © G. Sankowsky
Leaves and flowers. © G. Sankowsky
Bark. © G. Sankowsky
Scale bar 10mm. © CSIRO
10th leaf stage. © CSIRO
Cotyledon and 1st leaf stage, epigeal germination. © CSIRO
10th leaf stage. © CSIRO

Gaertner, J. (1788) De Fructibus et Seminibus Plantarum 1: 173. Type: Ex herbario Banksiano. [given by S.T.Blake, Contr. Queensland Herb. 1 (1968) 36 as [Queensland, Endeavour River, July-August 1770.

Common name

Broad-leaved Tea Tree; Paperbark Tea Tree; Broad Leaved Paperbark; Greenflowered Paperbark; Paperbark; Broad-leafed Teatree; Paperbark Tree; Swamp Tea Tree; White Tea Tree


Dead bark layered and very papery.


Freshly crushed leaves have an aromatic odour perhaps resembling mango (Mangifera indica). Leaf blades about 4-5 times as long as wide, about 8-16 x 1.5-4 cm, with 5-7 longitudinal veins more prominent than the rest. Young shoots and twigs clothed in white or silver, prostrate hairs.


Inflorescences about 35-40 mm wide. Flowers usually in threes. Stamens about 14-20 mm long, +/- fused in five bundles opposite the petals.


Capsules sessile, glabrous, about 4-5 x 4-5 mm. Seeds oblong, brown, about 1 x 0.25 mm, wingless.


Cotyledons obovate, about 2 mm long. At the tenth leaf stage: leaves narrowly elliptic, glabrous; oil dots small, visible with a lens. Seed germination time 12 to 57 days.

Distribution and Ecology

Occurs in WA, NT, CYP, NEQ, CEQ and southwards to south-eastern Queensland. Altitudinal range from sea level to 450 m. This species exists in a number of forms, and the form or forms which grow in association with rain forest are the taller ones often associated with swampy conditions. Also occurs in New Guinea.

Natural History & Notes

A beautiful small tree which is beginning to be noticed in horticulture. Prefers soils that are seasonally wet. Flowers cream to pink or red.

Melaleuca viridiflora Gaertn. var. viridiflora, Austrobaileya 2(3): 74(1984).
RFK Code
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