Tea Tree

Origin: Australia

Family: Myrtaceae
Subfamily: Myrtoideae
Tribe: Melaleuceae
Scientific Name: Melaleuca alternifolia

Folk Names: Narrow-leafed paperbark
Indigenous (Noongar) Names: Moonah (M. preissiana, stout paperbark, and M. lancelota, Rottnest Island tea tree)


Element: Water
Direction: West
Day: Friday
Planet: Neptune
Zodiac: Pisces

Magical Properties: Healing, protection, harmony, wisdom, purification, clarity, vitality, consecration

Substitutions: Cajeput, eucalyptus, niaouli, or oak (Druidic Ogham equivalent)


Part Used: Leaves and twigs
Extraction Method: Steam distillation
Flash Point: 47°C

Scent Type: Herbaceous
Perfume Note: Middle/top
Scent Description: Woody, slightly spicy, and medicinal.

Aromatherapeutic Uses

Emotionally uplifting, reviving, helps with mental focus, and can be used to ease colds/flus and congestion. Repels insects.



Active Constituents: Tea tree oil contains a variety of terpenoids, the most abundant being terpinen-4-ol, which is 35-50% of the oil and thought to be responsible for most of the antibacterial and antiseptic activity.

Medicinal Properties:

Indigenous Medical Uses:


Used in soaps, toothpaste, deodorants, and increasingly in aftershaves and colognes.

Indigenous Uses:


Most commonly refers to Melaleuca alternifolia, but can also be used as an umbrella term for many species in the Melaleuca family.

Type: Evergreen tree
Plant size: 2m-10m
Bark: Mostly white/brown and papery (some fibrous)
Leaves: Narrow: 1-5cm long, 0.5-5mm wide
Flowers: Spring to summer: White/cream cylindrical/bottlebrush flowers, ~2.5cm diameter, 2-5cm long
Fruit: Woody fruits, usually cup/barrel/spherical-shaped capsules, often arranged in clusters along the stems.

Etymology: Called “tea-tree” as it was recorded by James Cook as being used to create an infusion in place of tea.

In the Garden

Type: Evergreen tree
Light: Full sun
Water: Keep moist
Soil: Well-draining