Cooler Tour: April 16,2018

Melaleuca armillaris, commonly known as bracelet honey myrtle, is a plant in the myrtle familyMyrtaceae, and is native to South AustraliaVictoria and Tasmania in south-eastern Australia. It is a hardy, commonly grown species, often used as a fast-growing screen plant, but it also has the potential to become a weed. It has become naturalised in Western Australia and parts of Victoria. In its natural state, it grows on coastal cliffs and along estuaries.

Bracelet honey myrtle ranges from a large shrub to a small weeping tree growing to 8 m (30 ft) in height. It has rough, grey fibrous bark, distinctive decumbent branching and dense foliage. The leaves are arranged in alternating pairs (“decussate”) at right angles to the pairs above and below so that they appear to be in four rows along the stem.[1] (One source[2] describes the leaves as being spirally arranged and another as being alternate.[3]) The leaves are 4.5–19 mm (0.2–0.7 in) long, 0.8–4 mm (0.03–0.2 in) wide and glabrous except when very young, linear to narrow oval in shape, with the end tapering to a distinct hook.[1][2][3]

The flowers are white, sometimes cream-coloured, rarely pink, and are arranged in cylindrical spikes on the sides of branches, often on older wood. The spikes are up to 50 mm (2.0 in) long and 25 mm (0.98 in) in diameter and contain a large number of individual flowers. The petals are 1.5–3 mm (0.06–0.1 in) long and fall off as the flower matures. The stamens are arranged in five bundles known as staminal claws, which are 3–4.9 mm (0.1–0.2 in) long with each bundle containing eight to 18 stamens. The flowering season is mostly spring to early summer and is followed by fruit which are woody capsules, 2.3–4.5 mm (0.09–0.2 in) long and about 5 mm (0.2 in) in diameter, in cylindrical clusters along the branches.[1][2][3]

 

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