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In the Magazine

Weeping Paperbark

In the Garden > Trees and Palms

Weeping Paperbark

One of the most popular Australian native trees is the Broad-leaved paperbark (Melaleuca quinquenervia). The Broad-leaved paperbark is a hardy native plant. However it has a more attractive counterpart, Melaleuca leucadendra, Weeping paperbark.

Plant Details

Common name: Weeping paperbark, Cajeput Tree

Botanic name: Melaleuca leucadendra

Description: The Melaleuca quinquenervia and leucadendra have some similarities, with the obvious common feature of papery bark which is thick and spongy. The difference lies in their foliage. The M. leucadendra, similar to a gum tree, has brighter green, semi-weeping foliage. Its average size is 10 metres (30'), but it can grow to 30 metres (100'). The flowers are rich in nectar.

Climate: M. leucadendra is native to Queensland, Western Australia and the Northern Territory. It is widely distributed from the Kimberleys to Cape York and south to Bundaberg. It also occurs in New Guinea and the Solomon Islands. Although it will withstand some frost, it is not recommended for cold areas such as mountainous regions or Tasmania. It will grow well in most other areas.

Downside: Only available at specialist native plant nurseries

Good points:

lovely weeping foliage is available as a broad-leaved and fine-leaved form Cajeput oil is distilled from the foliage attracts native nectar feeding birds and fruit bats tolerates both extreme wet and dry conditions

Uses:

will tolerate a variety of habitats such as highways, streets and gardens and can be used for swamp reclamation or stream bank erosion control attracts native nectar feeding birds

Care:

shelter is required during the first year, especially in frost prone areas

Cost and availability:

M. leucadendra is usually propagated from seed. The broad leaved and fine leaved forms are available at: Sydney Wildflower Nursery West, Marsden Park, NSW, 2765
Phone: (02) 9628 4448
Fairhill Native Plants, Yandina, QLD, 4561.
Phone: (07) 5446 7088
Costs $6-$8 for 150mm (6") pot

The fine-leaved form is also available from: Zanthorrea Nursery, Maida Vale, WA, 6057
Phone: (08) 9454 4540
Costs $1.95 for a tube

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Disclaimer:  Burke's Backyard and Backyard Blitz do not accept payment to promote products. All recommendations are genuine. Details on the fact sheets are accurate at the time of publishing, however prices and contact information are not updated and may change.

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