Kingdom Plantae – Plants
Subkingdom Tracheobionta – Vascular plants
Superdivision Spermatophyta – Seed plants
Division Magnoliophyta – Flowering plants
Class Magnoliopsida – Dicotyledons
Family Myrtaceae – Myrtle family
Genus Melaleuca L. – melaleuca
Species Melaleuca cajuputi Powell – cajeput
Subspecies: M. cajuputi subsp. cajuputi, M. cajuputi subsp. cumingiana, M. cajuputi subsp. platyphylla
Melaleuca cajuputi subsp. cajuputi
Melaleuca cajuputi subsp. cumingiana (Turcz.) Barlow
Melaleuca cajuputi subsp. platyphylla Barlow
Other Scientific Names
Melaleuca minor Sm.
Australia: paperbark tea-tree cajuput tree
Indonesia: kayu putih
Malaysia :kayu putih
Peninsular Malaysia: gelam
Vietnam: chè dong, tran, chi cay, bach thien tâng
English: swamp tea-tree
The species of Melaleuca occurs naturally in swamp forests between the old raised sea beaches, and is a characteristic feature of the deep seasonal swamps of the coastal alluvial flats behind the sandy beaches and the mangroves, in particular in the states of Kedah, Melaka, Negeri Sembilan, Kelantan and Terengganu. The trees can be easily recognised by their distinctive thick papery flaky bark that can be peeled off easily.
Description: (Flora of China)
There is 44 species in Melaleuca
Trees, to 18 m tall. Bark white, thick and soft, peeling. Branchlets grayish white. Leaves alternate, fragrant; petiole very short; leaf blade narrowly elliptic to narrowly oblong, 4-10 × 1-2 cm, leathery, with numerous oil glands, secondary veins 3-5(-7) and parallel to long axis blade, both ends acute. Flowers white, in pseudoterminal spikes to 15 cm; rachis usually with short trichomes. Hypanthium ovate, ca. 3 mm, pubes- cent or glabrous. Sepals 5, rounded, ca. 1 mm. Petals 5, ovate, 2-3 × ca. 3 mm. Stamens ca. 1 cm, in 5 bundles. Style linear, slightly longer than stamens. Capsule subglobose, 5-7 mm in diam. Fl. several times per year.
Cultivated in Fujian, Guangdong, Guangxi, Sichuan, Taiwan, and Yunnan [Indonesia, Malaysia, Myanmar, Thailand, Vietnam].
In FRPS (53(1): 54-55. 1984), this widely cultivated species was treated under the name Melaleuca leucadendra (Linnaeus) Linnaeus (as "M. leucadendron"). Melaleuca cajuputi is the source of the essential oil, cajuput or cadjeput. The typical race, subsp. cajuputi, is distributed in Indonesia and Australia; a third race, subsp. platyphylla Barlow, is distributed in Indonesia (Irian Jaya), Papua New Guinea, and Australia.
- ASIA-TROPICAL Indo-China: Myanmar; Thailand; Vietnam
- Malesia: Indonesia - Irian Jaya, Java, Kalimantan, Moluccas, Sumatra; Malaysia; Papua New Guinea
- AUSTRALASIA Australia:- Northern Territory, Queensland [n.], Western Australia
- Therapy— Oil of cajuput is a diffusible stimulant of great power, and is indicated in all depressed and collapsed states of disease where there is no inflammation; such as we find in the advanced stage of adynamic fevers and malignant diseases. It stops the spasms, overcomes the collapsed condition, and in many cases effects complete reaction.
- The leaves yield cajuput oil produced by steam distillation has been used as external applications for: - headache, tooth-ache, ear-ache, rheumatism, bruises, sprains, contusions, chilblains, lameness, and other painful affections, the compound tincture (liniment) of camphor, well rubbed in before the fire, will be found to afford relief. The oil of cajuput and its preparations may be given on sugar, or mixed with honey, or in an emulsion, or in warm brandy and water.
- Cajuput is a vermifuge, and may be used to
destroy intestinal worms. It
is antispasmodic, and is one of the most successful remedies ever employed
in the painful cramps of Asiatic cholera was
an established means of treatment among the older Eclectics. It is equally
efficient in cholera
morbus, cholera infantum, nervous vomiting, hysteria, and
wherever there is depression of the vital powers associated with spasmodic
It is important that there should be no inflammation present when cajuput is employed; and when it is given internally in such complaints as cholera morbus, or spasms of the bowels, care should be taken not to excite inflammation of the stomach by a too free use of the remedy.
- In acne rosacea, psoriasis and other scaly skin diseases the oil, undiluted, should be applied to the diseased skin three times a day.
- In toothache the oil should be applied to the cavity of the tooth on cotton.
- In neuralgia the oil should be applied to the seat of pain.
- It is generally used in the round for posts, poles and piling.
- Good fuelwood.
- M. cajuputi makes an attractive ornamental tree, can be used for shade and shelter, and is a source of honey.
- In Melaka, the trees of gelam have been used as a road-side shade trees in low lying stretches where they cross rice-swamps, but the crown is not enough to shade wide road.
- This cineole-rich essential oil is used in local medicines and as an antiseptic and insect repellent.
- Environmental: ornamental
- Materials: essential oils
- Medicines: folklore
- The sapwood is light pink-brown in colour and sharply defined from heartwood which has a slightly darker shade.
- The timber is moderately hard, and moderately heavy to heavy with an air dry density of 720 to 820 kg nr3 (average 755 kg m y}.
- Texture is moderately fine to fine and even.
- Grain is straight to shallowly interlocked. The timber has been reported to be durable especially in contact with wet ground and sea water.
- Based on the density, the timber appears to be stronger than rubberwood (Hevea brasiliensis) (density 560 - 640 kg m"3), light red meranti (Shorea spp.) (density 385 - 755 kg and mersawa (Anisoptera) (density 515 0735 kg nr1) but weaker than such timber as redbalau (Shorea spp.) (density 800 - 880 kg m'3), keruing (Dipterocarpus spp.)(density 690 - 945 kg nr3) and kempas (Koompassia malaccensis) (density 770- 1120 kg m-3).
The papery bark has been used for caulking wooden boats.
1) Polination Ecology: (Jurnal written by Nguyen Quang Tan)
Polinater: Nypa fruticans
The submerged Melaleuca forests have an important role in the regulation of climate and the protection of wildlife and the environment in southern Vietnam. This paper studies the pollination ecology of the Asian giant honey bee (Apis dorsata), the Asian dwarf honey bee (Apis florea) and other pollinators on the two prominent plants (Melaleuca cajuputi and Nypa fruticans) in the forests. The results show that the nectar of Melaleuca flowers was secreted in the largest volume with the lowest sugar content in the early morning. Then, due to evaporation, the volume dropped to the lowest with the highest sugar content in the early afternoon. The sugar value present in Melaleuca flowers was the highest (466 μg of sugar per flower) at 10.00 h in the morning. Nypa flowers opened early in the morning, their pollen release increased gradually, reached a peak at 09.00 h and finished at sunset. The study of pollinators on the Melaleuca and Nypa flowers showed the three following forms of partitioning in the Melaleuca forests: 1. Different plants have different visitors; 2. Different visitors visit the same plant at different times; and 3. For a visitor species, time is partitioned to visit different plants.
2) ESSENTIAL LEAF OILS FROM MELALEUCA CAJUPUTI (Narathiwat)
(J.H. Kim, K.H. Liu, Y. Yoon, Y. Sornnuwat, T. Kitirattrakarn, C. Anantachoke)
Abstract: Hydrodistillation of cajuput (Melaleuca cajuputi) leaves collected from 6 sites gave different yields of cajuput oils. The maximum oil yield (0.97%) was obtained from leaves from Ban Koke Kuwae, Thambon Kosit, and Amphur Tak Bai. The oil yields from leaf samples of other sites were 0.84% from Ban Pha Ye and Thambon Sungai Padi in Amphur Sungai Padi; 0.76% from Ban Lubosama, and Thambon Pasemat, in Amphur Sungai Kolok; 0.70% from Ban Tha Se, and Thambon Kosit, in Amphur Tak Bai; 0.66% from Ban Mai, and Thambon Sungai Padi, in Amphur Sungai Padi; and 0.56% from Ban Toh Daeng, and Thambon Phuyoh, in Amphur Sungai Kolok. Cajuput oil densities from the 2 sites of Amphur Sungai Kolok and from Ban Mai, Thambon Sungai Padi, Amphur Sungai Padi were almost the same, but higher than others. Although major components were not different, the minor components varied in terms of both structure and proportion. The major compositions of both cajuput oils from Ban Toh Daeng, Thambon Phuyoh, and Amphur Sungai Kolok consisted of 49.22% monoterpenes and 46.45% sesquiterpenes, and the rest were hydrocarbons and a diterpene. Other cajuput oils obtained composed mainly of monoterpenes (more than 62%), sesquiterpenes, hydrocarbons and some unknown compounds respectively. There was no diterpene present in these oils. Since cajuput oil was locally used as insecticide, termicidal activities of all oils were also investigated.
ISHS Acta Horticulturae 680: III WOCMAP Congress on Medicinal and Aromatic Plants - Volume 6: Traditional Medicine and Nutraceuticals
3)EXPLORING THE GENETIC RESOURCES OF TROPICAL MELALEUCAS
J.C. Doran and B.V. GunnCSIRO Division of ForestryPO Box 4008 QVT, Canberra ACT 2600Australia
Tropical melaleucas are being used to reforest the inundated, acid sulphate lands of the Mekong Delta of Vietnam. M. cajuputi grows naturally in the Delta, this species and a number of other melaleucas with potential for the Mekong Delta are described. Melaleuca spp. seed collections undertaken in northern Australia and Papua New Guinea are summarised. The problems of weediness and successful propagation associated with melaleucas are discussed. Excess seed is available for interested research institutions. melaleuca-cajuputi