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Melaleuca squarrosa

Australian swamp tea tree

An evergreen shrub or tree, to 5m in its native Australia, with small, pointed leaves arranged in neat ranks along the stems. In summer it produces small, fragrant creamy-white flowers, held in dense spikes that resemble a bottle-brush; these are followed by small, woody, cup-shaped fruits

Other common names
scented paperbark
Tasmanian swamp tea tree
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Size
Ultimate height
1.5–2.5 metres
Time to ultimate height
5–10 years
Ultimate spread
1–1.5 metres
Growing conditions
Loam
Sand
Moisture
Moist but well–drained, Well–drained
pH
Acid, Alkaline, Neutral
Colour & scent
StemFlowerFoliageFruit
Spring Green
Summer Cream White Green
Autumn Green
Winter Green
Position
  • Full sun
Aspect

South–facing or West–facing

Exposure
Sheltered
Hardiness
H3
Botanical details
Family
Myrtaceae
Native to the UK
No
Foliage
Evergreen
Habit
Bushy
Genus

Commonly known as 'Tea Tree', this is a genus of nearly 300 species of paper barks, honey myrtles or tea treas, endemic to Australia where they can be found near streams and swamps. These small trees have white, papery bark and soft, smooth oily leaves. Flowers are white and brush-like

Name status

Correct

Plant range
Australia

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How to grow

Cultivation

Under glass, grow in loam-based potting compost with added leaf mould, in full light with shade from hot sun. Water moderately while in growth and apply a balanced liquid fertiliser monthly; water sparingly in winter. Outdoors grow in moderately fertile, well-drained soil in a sunny position with the shelter of a warm wall

Propagation

Propagate by sowing seed in spring, or root semi-ripe cuttings with bottom heat in summer

Suggested planting locations and garden types
  • City and courtyard gardens
  • Mediterranean climate plants
  • Patio and container plants
  • Conservatory and greenhouse
  • Wall side borders
Pruning

See pruning group 1; plants under glass may need restrictive pruning after flowering

Pests

May be susceptible to glasshouse red spider mite and scale insects

Diseases

Generally disease-free

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