Melaleuca howeana

Melaleuca howeana
Lord Howe Island Tea Tree
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Plantae
(unranked): Angiosperms
(unranked): Eudicots
(unranked): Rosids
Order: Myrtales
Family: Myrtaceae
Genus: Melaleuca
Species: M. howeana
Binomial name
Melaleuca grieveana

Melaleuca howeana is a shrub or bush to 3 m tall in the myrtle family. It grows at the Lord Howe Island group. Common in exposed areas, on cliffs and ridges, occasionally forming pure stands.

A dense bush with small leaves, 4 to 9 mm long and 1 to 1.5 mm wide, alternate on the stem. As with many paperbarks, the bark is flaky. Branchlets hairless. White flowers form from mid September to December. The fruit is a small wooden capsule.

This plant is best known as the habitat for the Lord Howe Island Stick Insect, a critically endangered species. The bush at Balls Pyramid is growing in a small crevice where water seeps through cracks in the underlying rocks. This moisture supports a relatively lush plant growth which resulted in a build-up of plant debris, several metres deep. The population of insects was extremely small, only 24 individuals that fed on this plant.