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Melaleuca (Paper Bark)

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Most melaleucas are endemic to Australia. Melaleucas are found in a wide variety of habitats. Many are adapted for life in swamps and boggy places, while others thrive in the poorest of sandy soils or on the edge of saltpans. Some have a wide distribution and are common whilst others are rare and endangered.

Melaleucas are important food sources for insects, birds and mammals. They range in size from small shrubs of 1 metre high, to trees which can reach 35m. Many are known as paperbarks and have bark that can be peeled in thin sheets whilst about 20% of the genus have hard, rough bark and another 20% have fibrous bark. Every species in the genus is an evergreen and the leaves vary in size from minute and scale-like. Most have distinct oil glands dotted in the leaves, making the leaves aromatic, especially when crushed.

Melaleuca flowers are usually arranged in spikes or heads. Within the head or spike, the flowers are often in groups of two or three, each flower or group having a papery bract at its base.

The fruits are woody, cup-shaped, barrel-shaped or almost spherical capsules, often arranged in clusters along the stems. The seeds are sometimes retained in the fruits for many years, only opening when the plant, or part of it dies or is heated in a bushfire. In tropical areas, seeds are released annually in the wet season.

Melaeuca is loved & needed by:

Gilbert's Potooroo

The wild population of Gilbert’s Potoroo inhabits dense low heath on the slopes of Mt Gardner. A network of tunnels through this heathland enables the potoroos to move around quickly under cover. This cover consists mainly of shrubs between 1.5–2m tall. A dense layer of sedges grows beneath this canopy. Gilbert’s Potoroo sometimes shelters under deep accumulations of “needles” in Sheoak clumps. READ MORE

Quokka

The Quokka occurs on two offshore islands (Rottnest Island and Bald Island) and a number of mainland sites in south-west Western Australia. The distribution of this species is severely fragmented and there is little to no migration between populations. The Quokka is confirmed from ten locations, in which there are seven distinct sub-populations. All populations are considered important for the long-term survival of the species. READ MORE

Mahogany Glider

Mahogany Gliders are restricted to lowland eucalypt woodlands. The woodland vegetation is shaped and maintained by fire and dominated by eucalypts and Acacias. The gliders need open vegetation structure needs for gliding. READ MORE