Myrtaceae (myrtle family) Melaleuca

Melaleuca elliptica granite honey myrtle

Western Australia

Generally a large shrub, this paperbark has oval leaves about ½ inch long and is distinguished by rather large red bottlebrushes. Campus specimens on Mirada Avenue at its junction with Gerona Road have disappeared in recent years. The Greek melas = black and leukos = white refer to a black-and-white appearance that results when dark bark peels to reveal fresh white patches. Incidentally, you can often interpret Greek stems without a Greek lexicon—in this example, just look up the words beginning with leuco- and mela- in your English dictionary. Quiz: what do Cryptomeria, Eriobotrya, and Lithocarpus derive from?

· Callistemon and Melaleuca: Key to Species.

About this Entry: The main text of this entry is from the book Trees of Stanford and Environs, by Ronald Bracewell, published 2005.