Sandhill honey-myrtle
Melaleuca adnata flowers.jpg
Melaleuca adnata flowers near Kalbarri
Scientific classification edit
Kingdom: Plantae
Clade: Tracheophytes
Clade: Angiosperms
Clade: Eudicots
Clade: Rosids
Order: Myrtales
Family: Myrtaceae
Genus: Melaleuca
M. adnata
Binomial name
Melaleuca adnata
  • Melaleuca adnata var. abietina F.Muell.
  • Melaleuca eleuterostachya var. abietina Benth.
  • Myrtoleucodendron adnatum (Turcz.) Kuntze

Melaleuca adnata, commonly known as sandhill honey-myrtle, is a plant in the myrtle family, Myrtaceae and is endemic to the south-west of Western Australia. It is a tall shrub with papery bark and spikes of white flowers in spring and early summer.


Melaleuca adnata is an erect to spreading shrub up to 6 m (20 ft) tall with papery or fibrous bark. Its leaves are arranged in alternating pairs at right angles to the pairs above and below so that there are four rows of leaves along the stems. The leaves are elliptic to narrow egg-shaped, 4.3–12.5 mm (0.2–0.5 in) long, 1.4–3.8 mm (0.06–0.1 in) wide and crescent-shaped in cross-section. The petioles are attached the underside of the leaves (peltate).[2]

The flowers are white to cream coloured and arranged in spikes on the sides of the branches. Each spike is up to 15 mm (0.6 in) in diameter and contains 8 to 50 individual flowers. The petals are 1.7–2.1 mm (0.07–0.08 in) long and usually fall of as the flower opens. The stamens are arranged in five bundles around the flowers and there are 10 to 16 stamens in a bundle. Flowering occurs between July and January and is followed by fruit which are woody capsules 2–3.3 mm (0.08–0.1 in) long in roughly cylindrical clusters along the stems.[2][3]

Habit near Pingrup
Foliage and fruit

Taxonomy and naming

Melaleuca adnata was first described in 1852 by Nikolai Turczaninow in Bulletin de la Classe Physico-Mathématique de l'Académie Impériale des Sciences de Saint-Pétersbourg.[4][5] The specific epithet (adnata) is derived from the Latin adnatus, meaning "adnate", referring to the attachment of the leaves to the stem.[2]

Distribution and habitat

Melaleuca adnata occurs in and between the Kalbarri, Ongerup and Mount Holland districts[2] in the Avon Wheatbelt, Coolgardie, Esperance Plains, Geraldton Sandplains and Mallee biogeographic regions.[6] It grows in sandy or clayey soils, sometimes over laterite, along drainage lines and flats.[7]

Conservation status

This species is classified as "not threatened" by the Government of Western Australia Department of Parks and Wildlife.[6]


  1. ^ a b "Melaleuca adnata". Plants of the World Online. Retrieved 24 August 2021.
  2. ^ a b c d Brophy, Joseph J.; Craven, Lyndley A.; Doran, John C. (2013). Melaleucas : their botany, essential oils and uses. Canberra: Australian Centre for International Agricultural Research. p. 70. ISBN 9781922137517.
  3. ^ Holliday, Ivan (2004). Melaleucas : a field and garden guide (2nd ed.). Frenchs Forest, N.S.W.: Reed New Holland Publishers. p. 100. ISBN 1876334983.
  4. ^ "Melaleuca adnata". APNI. Retrieved 23 July 2015.
  5. ^ Turczaninow, Nikolai (1852). "Myrtaceae Xerocarpicae in Nova Hollandia". Bulletin de la Classe Physico-Mathématique de l'Académie Impériale des sciences de Saint-Petersburg. 10: 343. Retrieved 29 April 2015.
  6. ^ a b "Melaleuca adnata K.J.Cowley". FloraBase. Western Australian Government Department of Parks and Wildlife.
  7. ^ Paczkowska, Grazyna; Chapman, Alex R. (2000). The Western Australian flora : a descriptive catalogue. Perth: Wildflower Society of Western Australia. p. 391. ISBN 0646402439.