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


Leptecophylla juniperina (Prickly Mingimingi)

Kingdom:Plantae
(unranked):Angiosperms
(unranked):Eudicots
(unranked):Asterids
Order:Ericales
Family:Ericaceae
Genus:Leptecophylla
Species:L. juniperina
Binomial name: Leptecophylla juniperina
Synonym: Cyathodes juniperina
Common name: Prickly Mingimingi

Prickly mingimingi is a spreading shrub with narrow 6-15 mm, sharply-pointed leaves. Flowers are solitary in the axils of leaves. An endemic species found throughout the country. 
A common native New Zealand shrub identified by its needle-shaped leaves, greyish black stems and bright red or white berries. It grows to 1.5m tall with many branches. In exposed situations can be dwarfed or prostrate. Small bell-shaped white flowers August to December (mainly October/November) followed by red/white berry-like fruit slightly flattened at the top and bottom. The colour of the fruits varies on different bushes, from bright red to pink or white.
The flower have greenish white petals fused into a 3-4 mm tube with the tips of the petals spreading apart and lacking hairs. The five stamens are fused to the petal tube and surround a central ovary with a terminal stigma. 
The fruit are 4-7 mm in diameter; a fleshy fruit (drupe) is formed.