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Melaleuca linariifolia: Snow-In-Summer, Narrow-leaved Paperbark

Snow-In-Summer is a remarkable Australian tree known for its stunning white flowers and its cultural significance to the Gadigal People.

Snow-In-Summer, scientifically referred to as Melaleuca linariifolia, is a fast-growing tree native to coastal New South Wales and Queensland.

This tree, with its narrow leaves and white to creamy bark, is a gem for Australian gardens. During spring and summer, its branches are adorned with snow-like white flowers, capturing the hearts of many garden enthusiasts.

Besides its ornamental appeal, this plant plays a vital role in the local ecosystem, providing habitat for a variety of wildlife.

Family and Subfamily: MyrtaceaeMyrtoideae

Belonging to the Myrtaceae family, Melaleuca linariifolia finds its roots among thousands of species, primarily consisting of evergreen shrubs and trees. These plants are known for their aromatic leaves and abundant stamens in their flowers.

Diving deeper, the Melaleuca linariifolia is a proud member of the Myrtoideae subfamily. This group is particularly celebrated for its showy flowers and presence in diverse habitats, including rainforests and heathlands.

Melaleuca linariifolia: Basic Information

  • Common Name: Narrow-leaved Paperbark
  • Scientific Name: Melaleuca linariifolia
  • Origin: New South Wales, Queensland
  • Plant Type: Tall tree
  • Size: 10-15 meters in height, 3-5 meters in width
  • Leaf Type: Narrow, linear leaves
  • Flower Colour: White to cream

Appearance

Melaleuca linariifolia 1 | Plant Profiles

Melaleuca linariifolia boasts an upright growth habit, with evergreen foliage. Its linear leaves remain consistent throughout the seasons, and its clusters of white or cream flowers are a treat during the warmer months.

Post-flowering, the tree produces small woody capsules, each packed with numerous tiny seeds.

Natural Habitat

This tree is naturally found in select regions of New South Wales and Queensland. It favours wetlands, swamps, and coastal zones.

Those residing outside these areas should consult local guidelines or nurseries before planting.

How to Grow Melaleuca linariifolia

Melaleuca linariifolia leaves | Plant Profiles

Introducing the Snow-In-Summer to your garden can uplift its aesthetic appeal and attract local wildlife. However, careful attention to its growth requirements ensures a healthy and thriving tree.

Growing Conditions:

  • Soil: Well-drained, slightly acidic to neutral
  • Light: Full sun to partial shade
  • Climate: Adaptable, from cool to tropical. Frost-tolerant

Planting Guide:

  • Timing: Spring to early summer
  • Spacing: Maintain 3-5 meters between plants

Care and Maintenance:

  • Watering: Regular, especially in dry periods. Avoid waterlogging.
  • Pruning: Late winter or early spring
  • Mulching: Use organic mulch around the base annually

Pest and Disease Control:

Fortunately, this tree is resilient to common pests and diseases.

Special Features

  1. Summer-blooming snow-like white flowers
  2. Flax-resembling leaves
  3. Cultural significance to the Gadigal People as “budiur”

Melaleuca linariifolia cultivars

There are several varieties and cultivars of Melaleuca linariifolia that have been developed for garden use. Here are some of the popular varieties:

  1. Melaleuca linariifolia ‘Claret Tops’: A medium-sized shrub with claret-coloured new growth. It reaches a height of 0.4-1.5m and has a spread of 1-2m. This plant prefers full sun and displays cream bottlebrush flowers during spring and summer.
  2. Melaleuca linariifolia ‘Seafoam’: A native medium-spreading shrub with dense, soft foliage. It produces a profusion of white flowers in spring and summer, attracting nectar-feeding birds. Grows approximately 2-2.5m tall and 2-3m wide in full sun.
  3. Melaleuca linariifolia ‘Snowstorm’: A dwarf variant with slender foliage and clusters of small white flowers from summer to autumn. It grows up to 1.5m in height and width, thriving in full sun and moist soil conditions.
  4. Melaleuca linariifolia ‘Little Red’: An evergreen rounded shrub showcasing dense red new growth and fluffy white flowers throughout the year. This plant grows approximately 1m tall and wide and can thrive in both full sun and semi-shade conditions.

Wildlife and Pollinators

The white blossoms of the Melaleuca linariifolia are magnets for birds, bees, and butterflies.

Uses in the Garden and Beyond

This tree stands tall as a feature plant or hedge, and its drought tolerance makes it apt for water-saving landscapes. It also plays a role in supporting local wildlife habitats.

Melaleuca linariifolia FAQ

How tall does the Melaleuca linariifolia grow?

Melaleuca linariifolia can reach heights of 10-15 meters in optimal conditions.

When does the Narrow-leaved Paperbark bloom?

Melaleuca linariifolia showcases its white flowers during spring and summer.

Photo of author

Linda Jones

Based in sunny Brisbane, Linda has a keen interest in ornamental plants. She firmly believes that gardens are as much about aesthetics as they are about functionality. Despite being a life-long gardener, she still enjoys learning about new plants and gardening techniques and sharing her discoveries with the Ultimate Backyard community. When she's not immersed in her garden, Linda loves reading and walking.

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