Scientific Name: Melaleuca lanceolata
Description: Moonahs can live for 200+ years and are the iconic Barwon Heads tree. They have rough bark and short, pointed leaves. Trunks become distinctly gnarled and twisted with age. The woody fruit capsules, following the flower spikes, have a five-pointed crown which encloses the small seeds. Coastal Moonah Woodlands are recognised as a threatened community by the Flora and Fauna Guarantee Act 1988. Moonah adapts to its environment, varying from an upright tree to 4m on the north side of the Bluff to a ground cover on the southern extremity, where it is exposed to salt and wind. They provide shelter for many understorey plants, as well as birds and insects. The sweet drink made from the flowers soaked in water is a traditional food source for the Wadawurrung.
Plant form: Trees
Where to find: widespread-The Bluff, gardens, parks, estuary
Foliage: Grey-green lanceolate (spearhead-shaped) hairless leaves to 15mm long with a pointed tip, which are ordered alternately along branches
Flower: Cream to white terminal bottle-brush flowers to 50mm long
Flowering: September – December