T.E.R:R.A.I.N - Taranaki Educational Resource: Research, Analysis and Information Network


Libertia macrantha (Mikoikoi)

Kingdom:   Plantae
(Unranked):        Angiosperms
(Unranked):        Monocots
Order:       Asparagales
Family:      Iridaceae
Subfamily: Iridoideae
Tribe:        Sisyrinchieae
Genus:      Libertia
Species:  L. micrantha
Binominal name: Libertia macrantha
Synonym: Libertia pulchella
Common names: Mikoikoi, Miniature native iris, Native Iris,

Libertia macrantha is a little indigenous plant (0.15m high) with dark green leaves and little white flowers. Found in the North Island (from about Mangonui south to Wellington (scarce in Northland) and in the South Island from Nelson and Marlborough to Fiordland and is uncommon in the east. It is a common species of high rainfall forests and river banks, favouring montane habitats or cooler places in lowland forest. It often grows on root mounds, rotting logs and on damp banks and is usually associated with mosses and liverworts.
The arching leaves (30–220 × 1–5 mm) have margins that often finely scabrid. The underside of a leaf is much duller than the upper surface due to more white lines of stomata and raised cells being present.
The inflorescences are long with >8 white flowers 5–15 mm diameter. These develop into green seed cases.



Libertia macrantha growing on a bank in Mt Egmont/Mt Taranaki Reserve
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The green seed cases Photographed late January.