seeds of Melaleuca alternifolia, Narrow Leaved Tea-tree, Paperbark

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Melaleuca alternifolia Samen
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Melaleuca alternifolia, also referred to as Melaleuca linariifolia var. alternifolia, is a tree species of the family Myrtaceae. Common names for the plant include narrow-leaved tea tree, snow-in-summer, and narrow-leaved paperbark. Native to Australia, Melaleuca alternifolia now grows in parts of Queensland and New South Wales. The distribution of the plant is prevalent in swampy/marshy areas and places near streams and rivers. Melaleuca alternifolia can reach a height of 7 metres. The tree is composed of a mostly whitish bark and a bushy crest of foliage. The arrangement of the leaves can have one of three outcomes; whorled, alternate or scattered. Each leaf is glabrous and can reach a length of 10 to 35 mm. Flowers are fast-growing and appear as a mass of spikes that have a cream colour and measure 3 to 5 cm long. Melaleuca alternifolia is a hermaphrodite and thus, has both male and female organs. Flowers are mostly insect-pollinated. Melaleuca alternifolia is a well-known source of alternative remedies that have various healing effects. Such effects include a remedy serving as a diaphoretic, an alterative, an antiseptic and as an expectorant. While the remedies are popular, one would be well advised to consult a doctor first. Additional use of the plant is as a source of essential oil which one can be extracted from the leaves. This essential oil then serves as the raw material for the making of deodorants, soaps, and mouthwash due to its germicidal properties. Melaleuca alternifolia grows best in fertile, well-drained soils that have a high moisture content. As long as the soil fits the above-stated conditions it can be moderately loamy, heavy clay or slightly sandy. The pH of the soil should either be neutral or slightly acidic. Melaleuca alternifolia thrives under direct sunlight and is unable to grow in the shade.
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