Melaleuca, Papertree, Punk tree
Melaleuca, Papertree, Punk tree – Melaleuca quinquenervia
Category 1 Invasive plant
Family – Myrtaceae (Myrtle family)
Habitat- Prefers seasonally flooded areas but also grows in upland habitats.
Description – Height 80 to 100 feet with slender crown, leaves are 4-5 inches long, lance-shaped grey-green in color produce a camphor-like smell when crushed. Yellowish-white flowers are produced on bottle brush shaped spikes to 6 inches long, followed by clusters of 3/8 inch round or cylindrical woody capsules
Seeds were intentionally scattered by air over the Everglades in the 1930s with the idea being to help dry out swamps, it is now a major pest in south Florida, particularly in wetland habitats. This fast-growing (3-6 feet a year) Australian native forms very dense stands, crowding out all other plants.