Hoheria glabrata (Mountain ribbonwood)
Species: H. glabrata
Binomial name: Hoheria glabrata
Synonyms: Gaya ribifolia, Gaya lyallii var. ribifolia, Hoheria lyallii glabrata, Hoheria ribifolia.
Common names: Mountain ribbonwood, Mountain lacebark.
Hoheria glabrata is found by forest margins and stream sides in the sub-alpine zone of the Southern Alps, at altitudes between 2000 and 3500 feet, often forming scrub like groves on the upper margins of the forests. It colonises young, deep, moist, well-drained and often stony soils such as those provided by slips, talus slopes and alluvial fans.
H. glabrata is an exception among the species Hoheria’ is that it is the only one found on Mt Taranaki/Egmont. Normally it is to be found on the wetter, western, side of the Main Divide while another species H. lyallii is found on the drier, eastern, side. H. glabrata is also found on Stewart Island.
Hoheria glabrata is small tree (>10m) and is one of the few in New Zealand that is strongly deciduous. It has attractive yellow to red leaves in the autumn.
The oval leaves are bright green, the edges serrated, and the leaf tip pointed. Juvenile leaves have a sparse covering of stellate hairs but become hairless or almost so when mature.
H. glabrata produces masses of beautiful white scented flowers (3.5cm across) in summer or autumn, in clusters from the leaf axils. The fruits contain 10−15 seeds without prominent wings.
Photographed March Arthurs Pass.
The topside of a leaf.
The underside of a leaf.
Photos below are of juvenile leaves. Similar to H. lyallii but smaller.