Melaleuca squarrosa Donn. ex Sm.

Scented Paperbark

Trans. Linn. Soc. London 6: 300 (1802)

Taxonomic status:Accepted

Occurrence status:Present

Establishment means:Native

Mostly shrubby but occasionally a tree to 10 m or so high, glabrous except for the young shoots and axis; bark papery or corky but rough on old stems. Leaves decussate, ovate, 5–12 mm long, 3–7 mm wide, acute, cordate or truncate at the base, 5–7-veined, gland-dotted on lower surface; petiole c. 1 mm long. Inflorescence a terminal cylindric spike, to c. 5 cm long, 1.5–2.2 cm wide; axis hairy, growing on into a leafy shoot. Flowers in triad pairs subtended by rounded leaf-like bracts c. 3–5 mm long, fragrant; stamens 7–12 per bundle, lemon-yellow to creamy-white, claw c. 1 mm long, free part of filaments 5–7 mm long. Capsules wrinkled, round to elongate, 3–4 mm long. Flowers mostly late spring–summer.

Brid, DunT, EGL, EGU, GipP, Glep, GGr, HSF, OtP, OtR, Strz, VAlp, VVP, WaP, WPro. Also SA, NSW, Tas. Mostly in wet and peaty soils, fringing swamps, streambanks and sometimes shaded gullies south of the Great Dividing Range.

Hybrids with Melaleuca squamea, having relatively small, hardly decussate leaves and pinkish to pale mauve flowers in elongated clusters, have been recorded where the parent species grow together (e.g. Kentbruck Heath in far southwestern Victoria).

Source: Spencer, R.D. (1996). Melaleuca. In: Walsh, N.G.; Entwisle, T.J. (eds), Flora of Victoria Vol. 3, Dicotyledons Winteraceae to Myrtaceae. Inkata Press, Melbourne.
Updated by: Val Stajsic, 2019-02-08
Hero image
Distribution map
life Life
kingdom Plantae
phylum Tracheophyta
superorder Rosanae
order Myrtales
family Myrtaceae
genus Melaleuca
Higher taxa


Source: AVH (2014). Australia's Virtual Herbarium, Council of Heads of Australasian Herbaria, <>. Find Melaleuca squarrosa in AVH ; Victorian Biodiversity Atlas, © The State of Victoria, Department of Environment and Primary Industries (published Dec. 2014) Find Melaleuca squarrosa in Victorian Biodiversity Atlas
  Bioregion Occurrence status Establishment means
Glenelg Plain present native
Bridgewater present native
Victorian Volcanic Plain present native
Gippsland Plain present native
Otway Plain present native
Warrnambool Plain present native
Greater Grampians present native
Dundas Tablelands present native
East Gippsland Lowlands present native
East Gippsland Uplands present native
Wilsons Promontory present native
Highlands-Southern Fall present native
Otway Ranges present native
Strzelecki Ranges present native
Victorian Alps present native

State distribution

Distribution map
South Australia
New South Wales
Australian Capital Territory