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

Ascarina lucida (Hutu)

Kingdom:   Plantae
(Unranked):        Angiosperms
Order:       Chloranthales
Family:      Chloranthaceae
Genus:      Ascarina
Species:     A. lucida
Binomial name: Ascarina lucida var. lucida
Common name: Hutu

Ascarina lucida is a species of small monoecious but sometimes male and female flower will occur on different trees.  It is endemic to New Zealand and is the only member of its genus to occur here.
It is found throughout the North, South and Stewart islands but common only on the Coromandel and the West Coast and Nelson regions of the South Island. Ascarina lucida is now nearly extinct in the Taranaki region but was last reported in Oct 1969 at Mt Egmont / Taranaki, near Pukeiti by Colin Ogle.
It will grow to a height of 6m and can have a 30cm trunk.
The leaves which are in opposite pairs are simple, yellow-green in colour and have a raised midrib. Their margins have prominent teeth which are dark coloured at the tips.  The leaves of Ascarina lucida are very similar to Laurelia novae-zelandiae. Now sold in nurseries.

Maori use: In 1989 during a study of wood types used in pre-European Māori wooden artefacts.  Rod Wallace found a fern root beater made of Ascarina lucida

A young shrub

A mature leaf

A new leaf.

The underside of a mature leaf.

The stems.of Ascarina lucida

Thanks to Wikipedia for text and information http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0/