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

Lophomyrtus bullata (Ramarama)

Kingdom: Plantae
(Unranked): Angiosperms
(Unranked): Eudicots
(Unranked): Rosids
Order: Myrtales
Family: Myrtaceae
Genus: Lophomyrtus
Species: L bullata
Scientific name: Lophomyrtus bullata
Common name: Ramarama, Bubble leaf

Lophomyrtus bullata is an endemic species of evergreen myrtle shrub which grows to a height of 8m. Its scientific name bullata is from the Latin word meaning bubble.
Lophomyrtus bullata habits the North and South Islands but is scarce in the South Island where it ranges to about North Canterbury and Greymouth. It is found in coastal and lowland forests margins and stream banks.
The branches are numerous, erect and compactly branched. 
It has thick leathery, glossy, blistered leaves are broad oval-shaped dark green to yellow-green, mottled and/or spotted with red, maroon or purple-black circular blemishes (2.5-5 cm long).
White or pale pink open cup-shaped flowers 12 mm across appear November to March. The flowers of this plant are hermaphrodite (has both male and female organs). The petals are dotted with tiny warts.
Dark reddish-purple (becoming black) many-seeded berries (10mm) appear in January to June.
Edible parts of Lophomyrtus bullata are the fruit raw or cooked. They taste very much like a guava when they are fully ripe. The Maori used a decoction which was of benefit in treating bruises. Small black berries also added flavour when cooking the starchy material obtained from fern roots.

The photo below photographed at Te Kainga Marire Gardens, Spencer Place, New Plymouth


A young tree


Plant flowering December.

Flowers of Lophomyrtus bullata with a central style and abundant stamens. 

An older flower

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