Melaleuca linariifolia


Trans. Linn. Soc. London 3: 278. 1797.

Common names: Tea tree snow-in-summer
Treatment appears in FNA Volume 10.

Trees or shrubs, 2–10 m; bark papery. Leaves opposite (decus­sate); blade narrowly elliptic to linear-elliptic, 1.7–4.5 × 0.1–0.4 cm, veins 3, longitudinal, sur­faces soon glabrescent. Inflores­cences 4–20-flowered, flowers in monads, pseudoterminal, some­times also axillary distally, to 40 mm wide. Flowers: calyx lobes glabrous abaxially, margins scarious, 0.1–0.2 mm wide; petals deciduous, 2.5–3.3 mm; filaments connate in bundles of 32–73, white or cream, 8.8–24 mm, bundle claw (5.5–)8–16 mm; style 3.5–5.2 mm; ovules 85–120 per locule. Capsules 2.5–4 mm. Cotyledons plano-convex.

Phenology: Flowering late spring–early summer.
Habitat: Disturbed areas.
Elevation: 0–20 m.


Introduced; Fla., Australia.


Melaleuca linariifolia is one of the sources of the essential oil called tea tree oil. Its massed flowers make it a striking garden plant in summer.

Melaleuca linariifolia has been erroneously called cajeput in North America (R. P. Wunderlin and B. F. Hansen 2011); cajeput or cajuput is M. cajuputi.

Selected References


Lower Taxa