Melaleuca gibbosa

Slender Honey-myrtle

Family: Myrtaceae

Melaleuca gibbosa, the Slender Honey-myrtle, is said to a medium-sized shrub reaching a height of two metres. In our cold climate garden, plants rarely exceed one and a half metres in height.

The small leaves are stalkless, tightly clustered around the stems, obovate to ovate in shape and arranged in two pairs of opposite rows. The tips of the leaves curve inward.

Flowers are carried in up to 10 pairs per spike with numerous stamens. They are mauve to pink and fade to white. Profuse blooms are carried in spring and summer. Flask-shaped fruits are woody and embedded in the stems. Birds and insects are attracted to the flowers.

The Slender Honey-myrtle comes from the south coast of Victoria, coastal South Australia, Kangaroo Island, Tasmania and Flinders Island, one of the Bass Strait Islands.

 

In the garden

Melaleuca gibbosa is equally at home in both well drained and moist situations.

Light pruning will prevent plants from becoming straggly.

Propagation

Propagate from seed and cuttings. We prefer cutting propagation as they produce roots rapidly and these plants flower much sooner than seed grown plants.

Other information

The type specimen was collected in 1806 by Labillardière in Tasmania (Van Diemen’s Land as it was then) during a French scientific expedition to Australia.

The species name means with hump-like swellings and refers to the swollen stems holding the embedded fruits.

By Warren and Gloria Sheather