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

Melicytus novae-zelandiae (Coastal Mahoe)

Kingdom: Plantae
(Unranked): Angiosperms
(Unranked): Eudicots
(Unranked): Rosids
Order: Malpighiales
Family: Violaceae
Genus: Melicytus
Species: M. novae-zelandiae
Botanical name: Melicytus novae-zelandiae
Synonyms: Scaevola novae-zelandiae, Hymenanthera novae-zelandiae, Hymenanthera latifolia var. tasmanica, Hymenanthera latifolia, Hymenanthera latifolia.
Common name: Coastal Mahoe

A small dioecious shrub growing naturally along New Zealand’s northern coast from the Bay of Plenty northwards. It grows mainly on the coastal offshore islands. It grows up to 1 – 2m tall and is multi-stemmed with an upright growth habit. The olive green leaves tend to be leathery with serrations that are rounded.
During August to September, it has small yellowish green bell-shaped flowers. The female plants produce numerous ovoid white shaded berries spotted with very dark purple from late August to October.

Melicytus novae-zelandiae is reported as being entomophilous (Webb et al. 1999), but later research shows indications of wind pollination as well. It is now thought to have dual (wind- and animal-) pollination. It has substantially higher pollen: ovule ratios than the animal-pollinated plant species.

Photographed at Otari Wilton Bush Reserve


Photos below are of a small shrub planted at Port Taranaki

The leaf underside. 

Another leaf shape (underside)

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