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Melaleuca quinquenervia

cream flower of melaleuca quinquenervia bottlebrush paperbark tree

Melaleuca quinquenervia IMG 5881 - The flowers of this Australian native tree, which is often referred to as 'Honey Myrtle', attract a wide range of honeyeaters that feed on the nectar-rich blooms. It's not only the tree's flowers that catch the attention of birds however. Its soft papery bark has given it the common name of 'Paperbark', and in spring and summer birds enthusiastically rip off sections of bark that they use, combined with strands of silk from spiders' webs, to create their nests.

Many years ago, Melaleuca quinquenervia was introduced to the U.S state of Florida where it flourished in wetlands that provided a similar environment to that where it is often found in Australia. Sadly it has become an unwelcome species, for it has colonised the famous Florida Everglades and threatens to destroy the natural environment of this vast wilderness area.

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