Melaleuca

 
 

Melaleuca, cajeput, or paperbark teatree, is native to Papua New Guinea, Australia, and New Caledonia. It reaches a height of 80 feet, with a trunk 3 feet in diameter. The bark has several layers and detaches like paper. The leaves are up to 3.5 inches long and smell of resin when crushed. Inflorescenses are up to 3 inches long. Fruits are hard capsules, approximately a quarter of an inch wide, which remain attached to the branches until the latter fall naturally or due to wind, fire or other damage; the capsules then open and release hundreds of minute seeds. It flowers from spring to fall and has fruits throughout the year. The generic name means dark and white, perhaps in reference to the contrast between the dark foliage of some species and the light bark. The species name refers to the presence of five veins in the leaf.


The photographed tree is south of the Monzón Building. There are other trees at the main entrance to the university, immediately behind the Celis Building, north of the Chardón Building, and west of Building B.

Melaleuca quinquenervia (Myrtaceae)