Tea tree oil is widely used in deodorants, soaps, antiseptic creams, mouthwashes and toilet products. Oil is extracted from this Australian plant which is a member of the bottlebrush family. The evergreen large shrub or small tree has papery bark, small green aromatic foliage and small white flowers produced in dense spikes during spring.
It makes a fine quick growing hedge or screen plant, whilst offering foliage for medicinal and antiseptic purposes, as long as the plants are themselves in good health. Melaleuca alternifolia is a most useful garden plant that deserves far greater recognition. Half hardy to winter frost and cold. Young plants can be devastated by extremely cold winter conditions.