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TREE NUMBER 10.
BROAD LEAFED PAPERBARK or TEA TREE
Found in eastern Australia and the Pacific Islands, this tree’s specific name refers to its stiff, dark green leaves that usually have five longitudinal veins and are broad in contrast to many other fine leafed Melaleuca species. This tree is notable for its pale orange, brown papery bark that peels in patches. It grows along stream banks and swamps and can reach a height of 25 metres. It is durable in water and has been used for house stumps and fence posts. The oil extracted from the leaves has a high eucalyptol content and is used in inhalants and liniments.
In Pacific Island tradition newborn babies are wrapped in the bark for protection and strength. Some first nation peoples soaked the blossoms in water to make a sweet drink and used the bark in roof shelters. The creamy white or pink flowers are a major source of pollen for bees and the nectar is enjoyed by lorikeets, flying foxes and honey eaters.
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