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


Muehlenbeckia ephedroides (Leafless pohuehue)

Kingdom: Plantae
(unranked): Angiosperms
(unranked): Eudicots
(unranked): Core eudicots
Order: Caryophyllales
Family: Polygonaceae
Genus: Muehlenbeckia
Species: M. ephedroides
Binomial name: Muehlenbeckia ephedroides
Common names: Leafless pohuehue, Leafless muehlenbeckia, Twigs

Muehlenbeckia ephedroides is a native, prostrate or creeping plant. It grows in the North Island mainly in the northern Hawkes Bay, southern Wairarapa and the south Wellington coastline. In the South Island it is widespread in the dry eastern regions from Marlborough to Southland. It is found at altitudes of 0–1,200 metres in coastal or subalpine climates in range of sandy and gravely habitats such as near rivers, on beaches, sand spits, and alluvial fans.
Muehlenbeckia ephedroides is a grey-green or a grey to grey-black in colour. Its stem is branched and is 1 millimetre in diameter. It is also flexuous, striate, puberulent, and is grey to grey-black or grey-green in colour. The leaves are of the same colour, are glabrous and are 5–25 millimetres long. 
The inflorescence is fascicled or racimed with pale pedicels which are 1–1.5 millimetres long. Flowers have a pistillate and are staminate as well. Lobes are narrow-triangular, and are either white, pale yellow-green or just green in colour. Stigmas are obovoid trigonous and are 1.5 millimetres long. They have white coloured and succulent tepals which are swollen as well. The twigs are leafless.


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