Niaouli (Melaleuca quinquenervia)

trees planted in front of a building

melaleuca quinquenervia is scientific name of Niaouli, is a species of tree that can be presented in small and medium sizes and belongs to the family myrtaceae. Do you need to know more about this plant? Do not miss anything. Delve into reading this article and you will be able to satisfy your curiosity about the Malaleuca quinquenervia with regard to both its origin and habitat, as well as its appearance and its uses and possibility of cultivation. We anticipate that its multiple forms of use will leave you speechless, wanting to know more about both the plant and the native Australians.

Origin and habitat

flower close up of a branch of the Melaleuca quinquenervia

This plant is native to New Caledonia, Papua New Guinea, and the east coast of Australia. On the other hand, its history also dates back to the area starting at Botany Bay in New South Wales towards the North, in Queensland and the Northern Territory. It has spread in turn, by the Envergadles of Florida, where it is considered invasive weed by the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA).

It usually grows in silty soils or of the swampy type, on the margins of estuaries or swamps, almost always becoming the dominant species. It is a plant capable of tolerating waterlogging of soils.

General characteristics

The Niaouli is a tree whose leaves are wide. Its growth reaches 20 meters in height and its crown is lush, its bark is thick and papery (It can be found in white, beige and gray), the gray-green leaves are oval shaped and the flowers are cream or white and appear when spring ends and last until autumn.

Uses and cultivation

La melaleuca quinquenervia  has numerous possible uses and even today It is commonly used by indigenous Australians. Among these uses we can highlight the mixture that is made with its aromatic leaves to relieve colds, as well as headaches and diseases in general.

On the other hand, the oil from the leaf is distilled and used externally to treat coughs, colds, rheumatism and neuralgia. The paper bark is used to make so-called coolamons in housing and also as Element to cover food baked in earth ovens.  The nectar that is extracted by washing in water coolamons is usually drunk later. On the other hand, the flower that has perfume is used to make dark amber honey and although it tastes strong and is caramelized, it is very popular although considered of low quality.

La melaleuca quinquenervia  It can be used and in fact it is done throughout Sydney as an ornamental tree (in other words decorative) and is planted both on the street and in the parks or public gardens of this city. In its native Australia, it is ideal for wind stopping and tree selection, as well as a vital food source for many different species of native birds and insects.

The essential oil of this tree is used in the cosmetic industry, particularly in the Australian one. It is also used in herbalism and natural medicine in order to work as an antiseptic and antibacterial agent, helping bladder infections, respiratory problems and colds. This oil is classified as risk level 0, that is, very low, according to the classification of the Cosmetic Safety Base.

We have revealed in this article everything you need to know about this tree. Anyway, We recall that the explanation about its medicinal uses was created for informational purposes only., so you should always consult your doctor instead of experimenting with this plant on your own. Remember that you are not a shaman, but a mere mortal.



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