Broadway Arboretum

Species Information Page

Melaleuca rhaphiophylla Swamp Paperbark


Location in Arboretum: Swan Coastal Plain Wetland - right around the wetland
No on Map: WET04

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  • The species name rhaphiophylla is made up of two Latin words; “raphis” which means needle and “phyla” which means leaf, which together mean needle leaf.
  • Tree or shrub, 0.2–10 m high. Flowers are white, cream and have been recorded from Jul–Jan.
  • Well used by waterbirds for nesting especially as the Swamp Paperbark is often underwater in spring (Powell, 1990), deterring access by some predators. Birds nest in the branches or in hollows (Powell, 1990).
  • In many wetlands Swamp Paperbarks now have to compete with the introduced Typha orientalis which is an annual species that can carry a hot fire and regrow vigorously afterwards. Swamp Paperbark suffer badly or are killed by fire and do not produce seeds for about 5 years after (Powell, 1990).
  • The term "paperbark" refers to the bark which can come off in thin paper-like strips (see photo on right).


Powell, R. (1990). Leaf and branch - Trees and tall shrubs of Perth, Department of Conservation and Land Management.