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Melaleuca incana is one of the most widely cultivated members of the genus and is well established in general horticulture. The species forms a small to medium shrub, usually of weeping growth habit to about 2 - 3 metres. The flowers occur in small, bottlebrush shaped spikes about 3 - 4 cm long and are cream or white in colour. Flowering occurs in spring.
The leaves are elliptical to oval-shaped, about 10 mm long and softly hairy.
Although native to a dry summer climate M.incana is one of the more adaptable of the western species in the wetter summer conditions of Australia's east coast. However, it requires adequate water during dry periods or it can develop a sparsely foliaged appearance. It can also be affected by scale. The plant requires a well drained, sunny position and responds to annual fertilising after flowering. Pruning should be minimised as this can spoil the weeping habit.
Propagation is easy from both seed and cuttings.
The fruit is a small capsule containing numerous minute seeds.
In the wild, Melaleuca plants are generally found in open forest, woodland or shrubland, particularly along watercourses and the edges of swamps.
The best-accepted common name for Melaleuca is simply melaleuca; however most of the larger species are also known as paperbarks, and the smaller types as honey myrtles.
Melaleuca Incana - Grey Paperbark