Seeds of South Australia
Melaleuca squarrosa (Myrtaceae)
Scented Paper-bark
List of species for Melaleuca
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Seed collecting:
January to December
Herbarium regions:
Southern Lofty, South Eastern
NRM regions:
Adelaide and Mount Lofty Ranges, South East
IBRA regions
Mount Gambier (SVP02)Southern Volcanic Plain
 Rare   (IUCN: RA d(ii))
Bridgewater (NCP01)Naracoorte Coastal Plain
 Rare   (IUCN: RA d(ii))
Glenelg Plain (NCP02) 
 Rare   (IUCN: RA d(ii))
Lucindale (NCP03) 
 Vulnerable   (IUCN: VU B2ab(i,ii,iii,iv,v))   (Probable Decline)   [edge of range]
Tintinara (NCP04) 
 Data Deficient   [odd record; out of range]
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. Squarrosa from the Latin 'squarrosus' meaning  scale-like; referring to scale-like overlapping leaves.
Found in the lower South-east in South Australia, with an isolated collection from Mount Compass, growing in swamps and wet heaths. Also found in New South Wales, Victoria and Tasmania.
Native. Rare in South Australia. Uncommon in New South Wales. Common in Victoria and Tasmania.
Plant description:
Shrub or tree to 12 m high with papery bark and hairy young shoots and persistently woody stems. Leaves decussate, ovate, to 10 mm long and 7 mm wide acute, distinctly 5-7-nerved, scattered-glandular below, truncate to cordate at the base. Inflorescence in terminal spike with 5-10 pairs of white to yellowish flowers. Flowers in late spring and summer.
Fruit type:
Grey-brown, wrinkled round woody capsule to 4 mm, in dense spikes on woody stems.
Seed type:
Dark brown ovoid seed to 1.2 mm long and 0.6 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 96%.
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
15747 (4.11 g)
16750 (4.35 g)
4020-Jan-2005MKJ 68
South Eastern
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.