SelecTree: Tree Detail
PAPERBARK OR CAJEPUT TREE
Photo Locations: San Diego, Ventura, Santa Barbara, Goleta, CA, San Luis Obispo, CA and Cal Poly Campus - San Luis Obispo, CA
This plant is weedy. We do not recommend planting it in Hawai’i.
This tree tolerates saline soils and it's sap is an irritant. It can be propagated from seeds which can be collected year-round. Leaves can be used to make a medicinal tea. The paper-like bark is used traditionally for making coolamons, shelter, wrapping baked food and lining ground ovens, and the nectar can be used as a beverage. The timber can be used to make fences and the tree is commonly planted in public parks. Melaleuca quinquenervia has a HPWRA (Hawai'i Pacific Weed Risk Assessment) score of 15 (High Risk).
Native to Eastern and Northern Australia.
A Melaleuca quinquenervia in Pismo Beach is registered as a California Big Tree. It measures 40 feet high, with a trunk circumference of 167 inches and a crown spread of 37 feet.
Additional Common Names
CAJEPUT TREE, PUNK TREE, PAPERBARK
Erect or Spreading with a Low Canopy.
Has Evergreen foliage.
Height: 20 - 40 feet.
Width: 15 - 25 feet.
Growth Rate: 24 Inches per Year.
Longevity 50 to 150 years.
Leaves Elliptic to Oblong, Light Green, Red or Purple or Bronze, Evergreen.
Flowers Showy. Pink, Purple or Yellow. Flowers in Summer or Fall. Has perfect flowers (male and female parts in each flower).
Persistent, Brown or Gray Capsule, Small (0.25 - 0.50 inches), fruiting in Fall, Winter, Spring or Summer Wildlife use it.
Bark Striking, Cream or Light Green, Exfoliating.
Shading Capacity Rated as Moderate to Dense in Leaf.
Litter Issue is Dry Fruit.
Tree Site Conditions & Constraints
Sunset Zones 9, 12, 13, 15 -17 and 20 - 24; H1, H2.
USDA Hardiness Zones 10 - 12.
Exposure Full Sun to Partial Shade.
Wet to Dry Soil.
Clay, Loam or Sand Texture.
Slightly Acidic to Slightly Alkaline Soil pH.
Salinity Tolerance is Good Inland.
Seaside Tolerance is Good in Moderate Zone.
Pests & Disease Information
Susceptible to Phytophthora and Root Rot.
Health, Safety & Environmental Concerns
Branch Strength Rated as Medium.
Root Damage Potential Rated as Low.
Allergy and Irritant Health Hazard.
Biogenic Emissions considered High.
Desirable Wildlife Plant.
Attracts Birds and Bees.
Wildlife use Fruit.
Special Uses & Values
Riparian or Screen.
Cite this tree:
SelecTree. "Melaleuca quinquenervia Tree Record." 1995-2021. Jan 18, 2021.
< https://selectree.calpoly.edu/tree-detail/melaleuca-quinquenervia >
SelecTree Nursery Connection Map
Cal Poly / ESRI