Origin: Australasia

Family: Myrtaceae
Scientific Name: Melaleuca spp

Folk Names: Paperbark tree, honey myrtle, tea tree

Selected Varieties:


Element: Water
Day: Monday
Planet: Neptune
Zodiac: Pisces

Parts Used: Leaves, bark, flowers, fruits, and essential

Magical Properties: Healing, protection, harmony, wisdom

Substitutions: Eucalyptus, or oak (Druidic Ogham equivalent)

Magical Uses


This is just a general overview of oils belonging to the Melaleuca family. For information of specific oils, see their individual pages (cajeput, niaouli/nerolina, and tea tree)

Parts Used: Leaves and twigs, sometimes also flowers
Extraction Method: Steam distillation

Scent Type: Herbaceous/Woody
Perfume Note: Middle/top

Aromatherapeutic Uses

Uplifting/stimulating, and can be used to ease colds/flus and congestion. Repels insects.


Active Constituents: Melaleuca oils contain a variety of terpenoids, the most abundant being terpinen-4-ol, which is thought to be responsible for most of Melaleucas' antibacterial and antiseptic activity.

Medicinal Properties:

Indigenous Medical Uses (of various species):


Indigenous Uses:


The genus Melaleuca contains almost 300 species.

Type: Evergreen shrubs/trees
Plant size: 1m-35m
Bark: Many are paperbarks, with bark that can be peeled off in thin sheets; ~20% have hard, rough bark; ~20% have fibrous bark.
Leaves: Leaves vary from 1-270mm long. Most have distinct oil glands dotted in the leaves and are aromatic (especially when crushed).
Flowers: Usually arranged on a head/spike of up to 80 flowers, resembling a brush used for cleaning bottles. Flowers are arranged in groups of 2 or 3, with 5 sepals and 5 petals, which fall off as the flower opens - the stamens have yellow tips (anthers) and the stalks (filaments) can be a range of colours (commonly white, cream, yellow, or red).
Fruit: Woody fruits, usually cup/barrel/spherical-shaped capsules, often arranged in clusters along the stems.

Etymology: Derived from the Ancient Greek melas meaning “dark” or “black” and leukos meaning “white”, apparently because one of the first specimens described had fire-blackened white bark.