One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
An Australian shrub or tree bearing cylindrical spikes of flowers. Some kinds are a source of timber or medicinal oil.
Genus Melaleuca, family Myrtaceae: many species, including the Australian paperbarks
- ‘Acacias, grevilleas and melaleucas need careful annual pruning to keep them busy and attractive and should be replaced when they are no longer so.’
- ‘A mature melaleuca tree can produce as many as 60 million seeds every year.’
- ‘This species has the potential to threaten natural areas to a greater degree than melaleuca, an aggressive Australian tree that has largely been controlled within the Preserve.’
- ‘A dozen native trees will be saved, including melaleucas, coolamons, conifers, a flame tree and a lilly pilly.’
- ‘Callistemons and melaleucas are often tricky to tell apart as they are both evergreen trees or shrubs with papery trunks.’
Modern Latin: from Greek melas ‘black’ + leukos ‘white’ (because of the fire-blackened white bark of some Asian species).
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