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Melaleuca linariifolia - (Maiden.&Betche.)Cheel.

Common Name Tea Tree
Family Myrtaceae
USDA hardiness 8-11
Known Hazards Do not take internally. Possible central nervous system depression along with ataxia and drowsiness. Possible stomatitis, vomiting, diarrhoea and gastrointestinal irritation when taken orally [301].
Habitats Swamps by the coast[156].
Range Australia - New South Wales, Queensland.
Edibility Rating    (0 of 5)
Other Uses    (0 of 5)
Weed Potential No
Medicinal Rating    (5 of 5)
Care (info)
Half Hardy Moist Soil Full sun
Melaleuca linariifolia Tea Tree


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Melaleuca linariifolia Tea Tree
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Summary


Physical Characteristics

 icon of manicon of shrub
Melaleuca linariifolia is an evergreen Shrub growing to 6 m (19ft) by 4 m (13ft).
It is hardy to zone (UK) 9. It is in leaf all year, in flower in June. The species is hermaphrodite (has both male and female organs) and is pollinated by Insects.
Suitable for: light (sandy), medium (loamy) and heavy (clay) soils and prefers well-drained soil. Suitable pH: acid and neutral soils. It cannot grow in the shade. It prefers moist soil.

UK Hardiness Map US Hardiness Map

Synonyms

Melaleuca linariifolia var. alternifolia Maiden & Betche

Habitats

Woodland Garden Sunny Edge; Hedge;

Edible Uses

None known

References

Medicinal Uses

Plants For A Future can not take any responsibility for any adverse effects from the use of plants. Always seek advice from a professional before using a plant medicinally.
Antibacterial

Tea tree, and in particular its essential oil, is one of the most important natural antiseptics and it merits a place in every medicine chest[254]. It is useful for treating stings, burns, wounds and skin infections of all kinds[254]. An essential oil obtained from the leaves and twigs is strongly antiseptic, diaphoretic and expectorant[156, 157, 238]. It stimulates the immune system and is effective against a broad range of bacterial and fungal infections[238]. Internally, it is used in the treatment of chronic and some acute infections, notably cystitis, glandular fever and chronic fatigue syndrome[254]. It is used externally in the treatment of thrush, vaginal infections, acne, athlete's foot, verrucae, warts, insect bites, cold sores and nits[238]. It is applied neat to verrucae, warts and nits, but is diluted with a carrier oil such as almond for other uses[238]. The oil is non-irritant[238]. Another report says that high quality oils contain about 40% terpinen-4-ol, which is well tolerated by the skin and 5% cineol which is irritant. However, in poor quality oils the levels of cineol can exceed 10% and in some cases up to 65%[254]. The essential oil is used in aromatherapy. Its keyword is 'Antiseptic'[210].

References

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An important new book from PFAF. It focuses on the attributes of plants suitable for food forests, what each can contribute to a food forest ecosystem, including carbon sequestration, and the kinds of foods they yield. The book suggests that community and small-scale food forests can provide a real alternative to intensive industrialised agriculture, and help to combat the many inter-related environmental crises that threaten the very future of life on Earth.

Read More

FOOD FOREST PLANTS

Other Uses

Essential  Hedge  Hedge  Wood

An essential oil is obtained from the leaves[156, 157]. It is strongly germicidal and is also used in dentistry, deodorants, soaps, mouthwashes etc[156, 238]. Wood - very durable in wet conditions and in damp ground[167].

Special Uses

Hedge  Hedge  Scented Plants

References

Cultivation details

Requires a fertile, well-drained moisture retentive lime-free soil in full sun[182]. Prefers a soil that does not contain much nitrogen[188]. Plants are shade tolerant and succeed in most soils and aspects except dry conditions when they are grown in Australian gardens[157]. This species is not very cold hardy and is only likely to succeed outdoors in the very mildest parts of Britain. It tolerates temperatures down to at least -7°c in Australian gardens[157] but this cannot be translated directly to British gardens because of our cooler summers and longer colder and wetter winters. Seed takes about 12 months to develop on the plant, the woody seed capsules persist for 3 or more years[200]. Any pruning is best done after the plants have flowered with the intention of maintaining a compact habit[200]. Hybridizes freely with other members of this genus[200]. Plants in this genus are notably resistant to honey fungus[200].

References

Temperature Converter

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Plants For A Future have a number of books available in paperback and digital form. Book titles include Edible Plants, Edible Perennials, Edible Trees, and Woodland Gardening. Our new book to be released soon is Edible Shrubs.

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Propagation

Seed - surface sow in spring or autumn onto a pot of permanently moist soil in a warm greenhouse. Emmerse in 5cm of water and do not water from overhead. Grow on until the seedlings are 0.5cm tall then remove from the water and pot up a week later. Seedlings are liable to damp off when grown this way, sowing the seed thinly, good ventilation and hygiene are essential for success[200]. Grow the plants on for at least their first winter in a greenhouse and then plant them out in late spring or early summer, after the last expected frosts. Consider giving the plants some protection from the cold for their first few winters outdoors. Cuttings of half-ripe lateral shoots with a heel, July/August in a frame[200].

Other Names

If available other names are mentioned here

Found In

Countries where the plant has been found are listed here if the information is available

Weed Potential

Right plant wrong place. We are currently updating this section. Please note that a plant may be invasive in one area but may not in your area so it’s worth checking.

Conservation Status

IUCN Red List of Threatened Plants Status :

Related Plants
Latin NameCommon NameHabitHeightHardinessGrowthSoilShadeMoistureEdibleMedicinalOther
Melaleuca alternifoliaTea TreeShrub6.0 8-11  LMHNM05 
Melaleuca bracteataRiver teatreeShrub6.0 0-0  LMHNM02 
Melaleuca hypericifoliaTea TreeShrub3.0 8-11  LMHSNM02 
Melaleuca leucadendraPaperbark, Weeping PaperbarkTree30.0 10-12 FLMHNM243
Melaleuca thymifoliaThymeleaf melaleucaShrub1.0 8-11  LMHNM02 
Melaleuca uncinataBroom honeymyrtleShrub2.0 0-0  LMHNDM01 

Growth: S = slow M = medium F = fast. Soil: L = light (sandy) M = medium H = heavy (clay). pH: A = acid N = neutral B = basic (alkaline). Shade: F = full shade S = semi-shade N = no shade. Moisture: D = dry M = Moist We = wet Wa = water.

 

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(Maiden.&Betche.)Cheel.

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