Redlands plants - Swamp tea-tree

Scientific name: Melaleuca irbyana, Melaleuca tamariscina irbyana 

Other Names: Bush-house Paperbark, Weeping Paperbark


  • Queensland: Endangered
  • National: Critically Endangered (Swamp Tea-tree Forest Ecological Community) (EPBCA 1999)

What does it look like?

The Swamp Tea-tree is a small tree that grows to an approximate height of 8-12m. Its bark has a thick, spongy, papery texture and it has tiny, stalk less, pointed leaves that are arranged in a tightly pressed spiral pattern. The flowers bloom in spring to summer with creamy-white coloured spikes. 

Where is it found?

The Swamp Tea-tree is endemic to a small ecological community. It occurs on sedimentary rocks and alluvial soils endemic to north-eastern NSW and south-eastern Queensland.

What is threatening it?

  • Clearing
  • Urban expansion and development
  • Degradation of habitat
  • Weed invasion
  • Increased wind and evaporation
  • Changes in sun exposure and temperature.

Conservation actions 

The Swamp Tea-tree is protected under the Nature Conservation Act 1992 and the Environmental Protection and Diversity Act 1999. It is an offence to damage or interfere with the Swamp Tea-tree in any other way than when accepted by the respective Acts.

Redland City Council manages environmental weeds throughout the Redlands Coast to minimise their impact on native ecosystems and plants such as the Swamp Tea-tree.

How you can help

Manage environmental weeds on your property - see IndigiScapes’ brochure entitled Environmental Weeds of the Redlands [PDF, 5.0MB] or visit the centre for help identifying weeds and tips on how to remove them and stop them from spreading.

Record your sightings on the Atlas of Living Australia