Seeds of South Australia
Melaleuca squamea (Myrtaceae)
Scaly-barked Honey-myrtle
List of species for Melaleuca
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Seed collecting:
January to December
Herbarium regions:
Southern Lofty, Kangaroo Island, South Eastern
NRM regions:
Adelaide and Mount Lofty Ranges, Kangaroo Island, South East
IBRA regions
Mount Gambier (SVP02)Southern Volcanic Plain
 Rare   (IUCN: RA d(ii))   [highly localised]
Glenelg Plain (NCP02)Naracoorte Coastal Plain
 Rare   (IUCN: RA d(ii))
Lucindale (NCP03) 
 Vulnerable   (IUCN: VU D1+2)   (Probable Decline)   [edge of range]
Tintinara (NCP04) 
 Data Deficient   [odd record]
Kangaroo Island (KAN01)Kanmantoo
 Rare   (IUCN: RA d(ii))   [found mainly on western KI, well-protected]
Fleurieu (KAN02) 
 Rare   (IUCN: RA d(ii))   (Probable Decline)   [concentrated around Mt Compass; declining pops due to quality of swamps & grazing]
Murray Lakes and Coorong (MDD03)Murray Darling Depression
 Data Deficient
RSCA map:
Regional Species Conservation Assessments per IBRA subregion. Please click the thumbnail map.
AVH map:
Australian distribution map (external link)
SA Census:
Census of South Australian plants (external link)     [genus Melaleuca]
Name derivation:
Melaleuca from the Greek 'melas' meaning black and 'leucon' meaning white; alluding to the contrasting colours of the bark of the first species described, which is said to have had white branches against a black trunk. Squamea from the Latin 'squama' meaning with scales, scaly; referring to the the scaly bark or fruit.
Found on Kangaroo Island, Fleurieu Peninsula and the lower South-east in South Australia, growing in swamp and heath scrub on wet ground. Also found in New South Wales, Victoria and Tasmania.
Native. Uncommon in South Australia. Uncommon in New South Wales and Victoria. Common in Tasmania.
Plant description:
Shrub or small tree 6 m high, with corky bark, glabrous except for young shoots with white hairs. Leaves alternate, narrowly ovate, to 8 mm long and 3 mm wide, acuminate-acute and inflexed at the apex, obscurely 3-nerved and punctate-glandular below. Inflorescence a terminal globular head to 15 mm wide, generally wider than long, with 4–9 pink to purple flowers. Flowers in spring. 
Fruit type:
Grey-brown scaly spherical capsule to 6 mm diameter, truncate, slightly compressed in globular clusters on leafy or woody stems.
Seed type:
Dark brown ovoid or pyrimid-shaped seed to 1.2 mm long and 0.7 mm wide.
Embryo type:
Seed collecting:
Collect capsules that are large and hard with closed valves.
Seed cleaning:
Place the capsules in a tray and leave to dry for at least two weeks or until all the valves are open. Then place all the capsules into a bucket with a lid if possible and shake hard to dislodge the seeds from the capsules. Use a sieve to separate the seeds from the capsules. The fine material will contain the seeds and other flowering material. It is very difficult to separate the seeds from this other material as the size, shape and weight are very similar. However the seeds will be a darker brown. Store the seeds with a desiccant such as dried silica beads or dry rice, in an air tight container in a cool and dry place.
Seed viability:
From one collection, the seed viability was high, at 100%.
Seed germination:
Seeds are non-dormant, viable seed should germinate readily.
Seeds stored:
LocationNo. of seeds
(weight grams)
of plants
Collection number
Collection location
% ViabilityStorage
39416 (5.4 g)
41100 (5.5 g)
50-6025-Jan-2005MKJ 78
Southern Lofty
Location: BGA — the seeds are stored at the Adelaide Botanic Gardens, MSB — the seeds are stored at the Millennium Seed Bank, Kew, England.
Number of plants: This is the number of plants from which the seeds were collected.
Collection location: The Herbarium of South Australia's region name.
% Viability: Percentage of filled healthy seeds determined by a cut test or x-ray.