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Melaleuca, plants - Photo by Min B. Rayamajhi; USDA, Agricultural Research Service
Scientific Name: 

Melaleuca quinquenervia (Cav.) S. T. Blake (ITIS)

Common Name: 

Melaleuca, punktree, naiouli, cajeput tree, paper bark, broadleaf paper bark, broadleaf teatree, paperbark teatree, bottlebrush tree

Native To: 

Australia (Turner et al. 1997)

Date of U.S. Introduction: 

Early 1900s (Turner et al. 1997)

Means of Introduction: 

Used as an ornamental and for erosion control (Turner et al. 1997)


Degrades wetlands in several ways, including altering fire regimes, water table depth, vertical structure of plant communities, recruitment of native species, and light availability (Center et al. 2012)


USDA. Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture, Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) has prepared an environmental assessment (EA) to issue permits for the release of the insect Lophodiplosis indentata (Diptera: Cecidomyiidae) to biologically control Melaleuca quinquenervia (Myrtaceae) in the continental United States. Based on the environmental assessment and other relevant data, APHIS has reached a preliminary determination that the release of this control agent within the continental United States will not have a significant impact on the environment.

The proposed action is intended to reduce the severity of environmental damage to wetlands from the invasive Melaleuca tree in the continental United States. Melaleuca is native to Australia, New Caledonia, and Papua New Guinea and was imported into Florida in the late 19th century. It has since established in Florida’s wetlands, dramatically disrupting normal water, fire, disturbance recovery, and nutrient cycles—as well as impacting the amount of light available to other plants. APHIS is making the environmental assessment available to the public for review and comment. All comments received on or before Jan. 16, 2022 will be considered. To review the environmental assessment and make comments: Go to and enter APHIS-2021-0049 in the Search field.

Distribution / Maps / Survey Status

University of Georgia. Center for Invasive Species and Ecosystem Health.
Provides state, county, point and GIS data. Maps can be downloaded and shared.

Federally Regulated

USDA. APHIS. Plant Protection and Quarantine.

Includes species listed as a Federal Noxious Weed under the Plant Protection Act, which makes it illegal in the U.S. to import or transport between States without a permit.


University of Georgia. Center for Invasive Species and Ecosystem Health.


Google. YouTube; University of Florida. IFAS. Lee County Extension.

Selected Resources

The section below contains highly relevant resources for this species, organized by source. Or, to display all related content view all resources for Melaleuca.


USDA. APHIS. PPQ. Center for Plant Health Science and Technology; California Department of Food and Agriculture.

IUCN. Species Survival Commission. Invasive Species Specialist Group.
University of Georgia. Center for Invasive Species and Ecosystem Health.
USDA. FS. Institute of Pacific Islands Forestry.

University of Florida. IFAS. TAME Melaleuca.

TAME Melaleuca (collaborative effort between U.S. Department of Agriculture, Agricultural Research Service and University of Florida, Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences, South Florida Water Management District, and others)

Texas Commission on Environmental Quality, Galveston Bay Estuary Program; Houston Advanced Research Center (HARC).

Federal Government
USDA. FS. Rocky Mountain Research Station. Fire Sciences Laboratory.

Smithsonian Institution. Smithsonian Marine Station at Fort Pierce.

USDA. NRCS. National Plant Data Center.

USDA. ARS. National Genetic Resources Program. GRIN-Global.

State and Local Government

Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services. Division of Plant Industry.

Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission.

University of Florida. Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences Extension.

Electronic Data Information Source - publication resources
Columbia University. Center for Environmental Research and Conservation.

University of Florida. IFAS. Center for Aquatic and Invasive Plants.