Melaleuca styphelioides prickly paperbark
A group of tall paperbarks planted by arborist Bill Parker in January 1970 can be seen on Palm Drive between Palo Road and the entry gates, on the east side. (An entry in Albert Wilson’s 1938 Distinctive Trees, Shrubs, and Vines in the Gardens of the San Francisco Peninsula (p. 95) suggests this grove is about 65 years older, however.) There is another on Stanford Avenue opposite Peter Coutts Road. The bark is furrowed and hard, the leaves are small and prickly and the flowers are creamy white bottlebrushes.
M. hypericifolia is undoubtedly growing on campus also. Melaleuca flowers and fruits resemble those of Callistemon but can be distinguished with a hand lens by noting that the stamens are not separate individuals but, at their base, are joined together in groups.
Name derivation: Melaleuca – Greek mela (black) and leukos (white) because some species of the genus have black trunks with white branches; styphelioides – hard, tough.
About this Entry: The main text of this entry is from the book Trees of Stanford and Environs, by Ronald Bracewell, published 2005. John Rawlings added the Wilson note ca. 2006.