Melaleuca ericifolia
Melaleuca ericifolia Melaleuca ericifolia
Melaleaca ericifolia

Melaleuca ericifolia reminds one of a pale, delicate bottle brush. The foliage has a slender needlelike shape. There are small white bottlebrush flowers that attract pollinators. Honey bees adore the flowers. It is listed as having a fragrance, but not noted by this author. The seed capsules form an interesting nobby brown structure and the bark is a bit shaggy - though not as papery as the paperbark Melaleuca.

Heath Melaleuca can grow moderately fast – 35 inches in best case conditions. This small tree is tolerant of seaside conditions, including salinity and sandy soils. Overwatering may encourage Phytophthora and Root Rot, to which it is susceptible. M. ericifolia does not drop much leaf litter and stays fairly tidy without pruning. In the sand, the tree tends to sprawl because of shallow root and top heavy growth. Pruning is indicated to lighten the top structure (especially if in the wind), if that is the case.

Maximum height
20-40 feet

Width 15-25 feet

Life Span
50-150 years

Criteria for Ranking

1 (low) - 5 (high)

Drought Tolerance after first year establishment 5
Wind Tolerance 3*
Frost Tolerance 5
Surface Roots/Sidewalk Lifting 5
Power Lines Proximity

5 (good choice)
Cost/Maintenance 4
Disease Resistance/Hardiness 3*
*note asterisk denote species will be shaped by a prevailing wind. Single trunk trained trees need more protection than multi-trunk to grow straight.
*note susceptible to Phytophthora and Root Rot in damp soils