Common name: Tea Tree
Melaleuca howeana Cheel APNI*
Description: Dense low shrub, bush or small tree to 5 m, with coarsely papery bark; branchlets glabrous.
Leaves alternate (opposite in juvenile plants), spreading; lamina linear to elliptical, 4–9 mm long, 1–1.5 mm wide, veins not conspicuous; apex obtuse; petiole short, c. 1 mm long.
Inflorescences many-flowered spikes, 1–2 cm long, rachis pubescent. Flowers solitary within each bract, white. Hypanthium ± cylindrical, glabrous, c. 2 mm long. Sepals 0.5 mm long. Petals broadly ovate, 2 mm long. Stamens 3–4 mm long, 6–10 per bundle, claw c. 0.5 mm long.
Capsule woody, cup-shaped, c. 4 mm long, 3.5–4 mm diam., orifice 3–3.5 mm diam.; sepals persistent.
Flowering: Mid September to December.
Distribution and occurrence: Endemic to Lord Howe Island.
Common in exposed sites, from the seashore to ridges and cliffs, sometimes forming pure stands.
NSW subdivisions: LHI
Text by Peter G. Wilson
Taxon concept: P.S. Green, Fl. Australia, vol. 49 (1994)
APNI* Provides a link to the Australian Plant Name Index (hosted by the Australian National Botanic Gardens) for comprehensive bibliographic data
***The AVH map option provides a detailed interactive Australia wide distribution map drawn from collections held by all major Australian herbaria participating in the Australian Virtual Herbarium project.