Melaleuca, Broad-leaved Paperbark, Punk Tree, Tree Paperbark

Melaleuca quinquenervia

Family: Myrtaceae (mir-TAY-see-ee) (Info)
Genus: Melaleuca (me-luh-LOO-kuh) (Info)
Species: quinquenervia (kwin-kway-NER-vee-uh) (Info)



Foliage Color:

Unknown - Tell us

Bloom Characteristics:

This plant is attractive to bees, butterflies and/or birds

Water Requirements:

Average Water Needs; Water regularly; do not overwater

Requires consistently moist soil; do not let dry out between waterings

Where to Grow:

Unknown - Tell us


over 40 ft. (12 m)


8-10 ft. (2.4-3 m)


USDA Zone 9a: to -6.6 C (20 F)

USDA Zone 9b: to -3.8 C (25 F)

USDA Zone 10a: to -1.1 C (30 F)

USDA Zone 10b: to 1.7 C (35 F)

USDA Zone 11: above 4.5 C (40 F)

Sun Exposure:

Full Sun


Pollen may cause allergic reaction

Bloom Color:


Bloom Time:

Blooms repeatedly



Other details:

May be a noxious weed or invasive

Soil pH requirements:

Unknown - Tell us

Patent Information:


Propagation Methods:

Self-sows freely; deadhead if you do not want volunteer seedlings next season

Seed Collecting:

Unknown - Tell us


This plant has been said to grow in the following regions:

Apple Valley, California

Encinitas, California

San Diego, California

Santee, California

Bartow, Florida

Boca Raton, Florida

Hollywood, Florida

Port Saint Lucie, Florida

Stuart, Florida

West Palm Beach, Florida

Honomu, Hawaii

show all

Gardeners' Notes:


On Feb 23, 2016, coriaceous from ROSLINDALE, MA wrote:

This tree is highly subject to wind damage/blowdown.

The pollen is considered highly allergenic, and for some people, the sap can cause rashes on contact.

The World Conservation Union has included this species in their list of 100 of the world's worst invasive species, one of only 32 terrestrial plant species so singled out. [[email protected]]

Native to eastern Australia and New Guinea, its unchecked expansion in south Florida is considered one of the most serious threats to the Everglades ecosystem.

In the US, it's a federally designated noxious weed, which legally prohibits its i... read more


On Nov 18, 2014, mastrclndr from Valencia, CA wrote:

I planted a multi-trunked one in my front yard several years back. I liked it for it's appearance. It is decorative and the creamy white bloom clusters are lovely . . I'm chopping it down now, as the invasive shallow roots have buckled my patio, a walkway, as well as the sidewalk in front of my house. A decorative tree yes . . but the invasive root system leaves a lot to be desired. Keep that in mind when planting one.
It needs room to run.

If one is wanting a bottlebrush tree . . I would suggest looking at the "weeping bottlebrush" Calistemon viminalis


On Jun 16, 2012, KatherineG from Laguna Beach, CA wrote:

We planted 7 15 gal melaleuca tress and first some of the leaves turned brown. Now they are loosing even their green leave.s Live in Laguna Beach and watering twice a week. Planted 3 weeks ago Now what?


On Dec 27, 2006, frostweed from Josephine, Arlington, TX (Zone 8a) wrote:

Melaleuca, Broad-leaved Paperbark, Punk Tree, Tree Paperbark Melaleuca quinquenervia is Naturalized in Texas and Other States.
It is considered an invasive noxious plant and is prohibited in Texas.


On Nov 21, 2004, caron from Woodland Park, CO (Zone 4b) wrote:

This species is on the United States FEDERAL NOXIOUS WEED LIST. It is not allowed for importation to the US, nor is it allowed in any interstate or intrastate transportation without a specific permit by USDA APHIS PPQ (Plant Protection and Quarantine).

Millions are being spent in control and in particular biological control of this incredibly noxious plant. Destroy at all costs. If you find it growing anywhere in the US on federal, state, county, city, or botanic garden property please notify your State Department of Agriculture as well as USDA APHIS with the location.


On Nov 19, 2004, palmbob from Acton, CA (Zone 8b) wrote:

There is one growing in a local botanical garden here in California... seems harmless enough in this climate. Not the world's most attractive tree, though.


On Aug 3, 2004, foodiesleuth from Honomu, HI (Zone 11) wrote:

We don't grow it, but found one in our front yard when we moved to our present location. My son has cut it down and attempted to dig up the roots. Some roots must have been left, because the plant is beginning to come up again...!!!!

There are many melaleuca growing in Hawaii


On Aug 2, 2004, NativePlantFan9 from Boca Raton, FL (Zone 10a) wrote:

Melaleuca, Australian Paperbark Tree or White Bottlebrush Tree was introduced to South Florida in the 1800s to drain the swamps and the valuable Everglades, all at that time considered worthless, for development and farmland. It is very invasive to this day and is spreading rapidly throughout central and southern Florida, choking out important native plants that provide food and shelter for wildlife in Florida's ecosystems. It is widespread throughout zones 9b, 10a, 10b, 11 and below, southward throughout the Keys. It now covers thousands of acres in the Everglades and forms dense, impenetrable thickets on tree islands, pushing out native vegetation and providing little food or shelter to native wildlife. It is widespread in sloughs, wet prairies, cypress swamps, freshwater marshes, hammoc... read more


On Mar 17, 2004, baz wrote:

Not being prone to asthma or other airborne allergic problems (etc), I found the most glorious experience from the flowering "Paper-barked tea tree" outside my room between hot spells here, where it is native.

The famous Australian poet, Kath Walker (now deceased) took her name from a dialect name for this most emblematic swamp species from her homeland North Stradbroke Island (also: Minjerribah). Oodgeroo is one name for it.

Blue and black winged butterflies in abundance come to its honey-smell flowers this time of year (Southern Autumn, between big rains). Bees, cute song-birds, and at least three different butterflies take great advantage of the flower's brief periods of full bloom.

The timing of normal flowering is also keyed in to regional ... read more


On Jan 22, 2004, deekayn from Tweed Coast,
Australia wrote:

The Australian aborigines used the leaves to prepare a treatment for headaches and colds


On Jul 17, 2003, bvegan from Naples, FL wrote:

The scourge of South Florida! It was planted in the attempts to drain out the swamps. It worked a little too well. The USDA & UF have been spending thousands in research money attempting to get rid of this thing. I hate the smell of the blooms, and many report having headaches and allergies flare up because of them. These demonstrate the valuable lesson of think before you plant!