Common name: Saltwater Paperbark
Origin of Scientific Name
Melaleuca: Greek: melas, meaning black, and leukos, white, possibly alluding to the black trunk and white branches of some species.
cuticularis: Latin: cuticula (pertaining to the cuticle), referring to the numerous strips of skin-like bark coming away from the trunk and branches.
Originating in the coastal areas of the south west of Australia, Melaleuca cuticularis is a shrub or small tree that reaches 2.5 to 7 metres in height. Common around estuaries, lining creeks (both fresh and salt water), salt lakes and flood plains, it has an attractive architectural form once established with its twisted, sculptural branches.
The stems and trunk of this shrub have white papery bark, hence its common name. Bristly cream coloured flowers are present at the ends of branches between September and November, and, along with the trunk, make a vibrant contrast to the dark green foliage. Pruning is recommended so that the trunk and lower branches of Melaleuca cuticularis can be displayed.
- Melaleuca cuticularis performs well in cultivation, preferring heavy, moist to wet soils, although it can withstand dry periods and a range of soil types.
- This shrub likes a full sun or semi-shade position, and is useful for shelterbelt planting and for reclaiming salt-affected land.
- Can be planted as a tall informal hedge and propagates readily from seed.
For more horticultural tips view our Plant Notes section.
View in Kings Park
Visit Kings Park to see Melaleuca cuticularis adjacent to the Kings Park Education building and opposite Peppermint Lawn within the Western Australian Botanic Garden (refer to map).
Want more information?
Refer to the profile for this plant on the Department of Biodiversity, Conservation and Attractions' FloraBase online herbarium.