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Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Melaleuca styphelioides - Prickly-leaved Paperbark

Prickly-leaved Paperbark is an upright evergreen tree reaching 40+ feet with a variable habit. I have seen tall narrow specimens in SC and SLO as well as shorter wider ones in San Jose. Regardless of the shape, the canopy is dense with lots of thin weeping branches. This one has some utility pruning…...





Leaves are evergreen, alternate, simple, narrowly lanceolate, sharply pointed, and usually slightly twisted. 



Flowers borne in clusters typical of the bottle brush group of plants. Creamy white, in mid summer.



 Fruit is a small light brown capsule, persistent for years.



Beautiful paper bark. Like others in the genus but usually darker and sometimes more gray colored with age.


Misidentification:
Other melaleucas perhaps? M. linarifolia has smaller very narrow leaves. Bottle Brushes have stamens that are free at the base, these are fused and as far as I can recall BB are pinkish, not creamy white.

Location:
Santa Cruz
127 Storey Rd, on the Escalona side of the house
Highway 9 - If I recall, at the entrance to the Masonic Housing

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