Melaleuca Spits

Inspired by Australian coastal and estuary topography, Melaleuca Spits signifies the near-end of the journey of water through our great continent. Where our river systems reach the coast and the water integrates with the sea, resulting in sandbars divided by brackish water. The dominant species, Melaleuca linariifolia (Snow-in-summer) is typically exposed to harsh salt-laden winds and swampy, nutrient-poor soils. Here in the Australian Garden they are presented in a semi-formal style with cloud, fan-like pruning techniques applied.

  • Both broad leaf and fine leaf forms of Melaleuca linariifolia have been used to create subtle contrasting interest amongst the mass display.
  • Feel the soft, spongy texture of the paperbarks.
  • Birds utilise the sand spits and grasses as refuge away from humans and other fauna.
  • Views to adjoining gardens including Howson Hill, Weird and Wonderful and the Rockpool Waterway.

Snow in Summer

Melaleuca linariifolia

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Creeping Fan Flower

Scaevola hookeri

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Carpobrotus rossii 

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Coastal Spear Grass

Austrostipa stipoides

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Snow in Summer

<em>Melaleuca linariifolia</em>

Shrub or small tree, 2-10m high. One of the most commonly used street trees in Melbourne’s suburbs. It is said that when it begins to flower, you can count down the days to Christmas.

Notes from the Curator

Caitlin Gray

True to design, Melaleuca Spits acts as both a practical transition for visitors within the garden and a representative transition of water through the Australian landscape. Bordering the northeastern boundary of the gardens, the Spits allows visitors to physically move through the space and witness the changing landscape firsthand. A visit during early summer will provide a spectacular flush of white flowers from the Melaleuca linariifolia, an indication of Christmas fast approaching as the saying goes. Keep an eye out for turtle hatchlings making their way to the water or a Eurasian coot snapping up a yabby for lunch.