Melaleuca bracteate

Melaleuca bracteata, commonly known as the Black Tea Tree, is a medium-sized evergreen tree native to coastal regions of Western Australia. It features dark green to blackish foliage, clusters of white flowers, and rough bark. This species is well-adapted to wet soil conditions and is cultivated for its ornamental value, particularly its unique black foliage. It is also valued for its essential oil production and plays a role in wetland ecosystems.

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Melaleuca bracteata, commonly known as the Black Tea Tree or Black-leaved Paperbark, is a species of tree in the Melaleuca genus. Here is a detailed description:


Melaleuca bracteata is a medium-sized evergreen tree that can reach heights of up to 20 meters (65 feet). It has a dense and rounded crown with spreading branches. The bark is rough, fibrous, and gray-brown in color. One of the distinguishing features of this species is its dark green to blackish foliage, which is rare among Melaleuca species. The leaves are narrow, lance-shaped, and arranged in opposite pairs along the branches.

**Flowers and Fruits**

During the flowering season, Melaleuca bracteata produces clusters of small, white to cream-colored flowers at the ends of its branches. The flowers are cylindrical in shape and have numerous stamens, giving them a feathery appearance. They are highly attractive to bees, butterflies, and other pollinators. After flowering, the tree develops small, woody capsules containing numerous tiny seeds.

**Habitat and Distribution**

Melaleuca bracteata is native to the coastal regions of Western Australia, where it typically grows in swampy or waterlogged areas, including wetlands, floodplains, and riverbanks. It is well-adapted to wet soil conditions and can withstand periodic inundation. Outside of its native range, it is also cultivated as an ornamental tree in suitable climates.

**Cultivation and Uses**

Melaleuca bracteata is cultivated for its unique black foliage, which provides an attractive contrast in landscapes and gardens. It requires a sunny location and well-drained soil to thrive. This species is drought-tolerant once established and has good salt tolerance, making it suitable for coastal gardens. Its aromatic foliage and flowers also make it a popular choice for essential oil production.


Melaleuca bracteata is not currently considered endangered or threatened in its native habitat. However, as with other Melaleuca species, it plays an important role in wetland ecosystems by stabilizing soil, filtering water, and providing habitat for wildlife.


Melaleuca bracteata, or the Black Tea Tree, is a distinctive tree with dark green to blackish foliage, attractive white flowers, and rough bark. It is native to coastal areas of Western Australia and is well-suited to wet soil conditions. With its ornamental value and ecological significance, this species adds beauty and contributes to the biodiversity of its natural habitats.


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