While there are some who believe Melaleuca is a weed, they are both right and wrong.  Melaleuca Alternifolia, as found in Australia, is a tree.  Melaleuca Quinquenervia, as found in Florida, is a noxious weed.  They are easily distinguishable.  Melaleuca tree = Alternifolia. Melaleuca weed = Quinquenervia.
 
The Melaleuca tree, similar to the way the bark on a Quaking Aspen tree peels away, has a bark that looks like it is always falling apart.  The bark peels in thick layers and is rather soft.
See the following picture of Melaleuca Bark:
This picture was shared on twitter here:  https://twitter.com/#!/JoyUsGarden/status/169829215242432512/photo/1
by @joyusgarden

Notice that the bark peels away naturally and slowly over time.  Melaleuca bark, unlike the Quaking Aspen tree bark which are paper thin, peel away in thick layers.
 

Fact: Melaleuca Alternifolia grows in Australia.
"The native habitat of [Melaleuca] alternifolia is a small area of north-eastern New South Wales, Australia. However, [Melaleuca] alternifolia has been cultivated successfully in other parts of New South Wales, in other states of Australia such as Queensland and Western Australia and in other countries."   http://www.attia.org.au/teatree_about_faq.php#009 

They say that Melaleuca Alternifolia grows in other countries, but I am still doing more research on that. 
 
According to ForestLearning.edu.au, "Melaleuca forest makes up only 5% of Australia’s forest 
area."  That is still a lot of trees.  5% may not seem like much.  5% of a 10 ounce glass of water is just a small swig of water, but 5% of an ocean is larger than many of the countries in the world!

The site goes on to say: "it is the third most extensive forest type after eucalypts and 
acacia."  

Thanks for reading your Melaleuca Fact of the Day!
 
You may be thinking to yourself, "Well duh! All plants bloom in the spring."

Oh yeah? That is not always the case.  See this site: http://www.northeastnursery.com/plants/fallblooming.html to find a list of quite a few that actually bloom in the fall!

You may have already known, or at least suspected, that Melaleuca blooms in the spring, but now you know that plenty of plants bloom in the fall too!
 
If you Google Melaleuca, you will find that everyone calls Melaleuca the tea tree.  That makes it a fact, right?  Just kidding, just because it is online, and used frequently, that doesn't make it a fact. 

But I have found that if more than 10 sources call it that online it is almost always accurate. 

Ask anyone in Australia: A Melaleuca tree is a tea tree, and tea tree is SO much easier to say than Melaleuca! ;-)