Now lumped into Melaleuca, this species was first described and published under the name Eremaea hadra in 1993 by the Canadian-Australian botanist Roger Hnatiuk.
In A revision of the genus Eremaea (Myrtaceae) (PDF), Dr. Hnatiuk described 8 new species, 5 subspecies, and 8 varieties within the genus, doubling the number of species previously recognized. A 2014 paper, New combinations and names in Melaleuca (Myrtaceae) by Craven et al. pushed Eremaea and 7 other genera into Melaleuca on the basis of DNA evidence. This renaming has apparently not been widely adopted yet.
Melaleuca hadra (no common name that I can find) is a small shrub to 1.4m (4.5 ft.) tall. The species is native to escarpment edges with sandy soils above laterite in southwestern Australia. Although it is currently listed as Not Threatened in Australia, Hnatiuk proposed the following in the 1993 paper:
I recommend that the conservation status of this variety should be Priority One – Poorly Known Taxa. Its geographic range is less than 100 km across. Its occurrence in Reserves is not known. It is only known from small populations along the edge of the archaean shield. Further field work is needed.
Hnatiuk also explained the rationale behind the specific epithet:
The species name comes from the Greek word hadros meaning well-developed, large, strong, and refers to the distinctively robust character of the plant in comparison to its closest relatives.
Melaleuca hadra, and related species in the former Eremaea, were recognized by Hnatiuk as having strong horticultural potential. He speculated that previous attempts at growing this poorly-known group of plants were unsuccessful due to a possible intolerance to summer rains and/or improper soils. The plant in today’s photographs has been cultivated since 1987 (!) at the University of California Santa Cruz Arboretum & Botanic Garden. Despite the plant’s relatively small stature, the showy stamens caught my eye from some distance away during an early May visit to the arboretum.