Melaleuca thymifolia

Thyme-leaf Honey-myrtle

Family: Myrtaceae

Melaleuca thymifolia, Thyme-leaf Honey-myrtle, is one of a number of small melaleucas that reach a maximum height of 1.5 metres. It has a possible spread of 3 metres.

Leaves are small, bluish-green and spicily aromatic when crushed (reflecting the species and common names).

Flowers are held in axillary spikes on old wood. The usual colour is mauve-purple but there are other colour forms (see below). The spikes are claw-shaped with the ends of the stamens curving inward. Plants may carry blooms for 8 months of the year. 

Melaleuca thymifolia is found in NSW and Queensland. In NSW the species has a wide distribution. We have observed plants growing in coastal areas and westwards in the Central Tablelands.

In the garden

Plants usually take a blooming rest in winter. Tip pruning will prevent plants becoming dishevelled.

There are a number of cultivars including ‘Pink Lace’, ‘White Lace’ and a compact, low growing form known as ‘Little Beauty’. We have found that the conventional form with mauve-purple flowers is the most vigorous.

Propagation

Propagate from seed and cuttings.

Other information

By Warren and Gloria Sheather