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

Melicytus obovatus ssp “Coast”

Kingdom: Plantae
(Unranked): Angiosperms
(Unranked): Eudicots
(Unranked): Rosids
Order: Malpighiales
Family: Violaceae
Genus: Melicytus
Species: M. obovatus
Scientific name: Melicytus obovatus ssp “Coast”
Synonyms: Hymenanthera obovata

Melicytus obovatus is a native coastal shrub which attains a height of 1.5m with a 2m spread. It is a shrubby relative of the common forest tree mahoe (M. ramiflorus).
This shrub has four forms listed, three from the Nelson region, and one from the Cook Strait area region.  (from  New Zealand Native Trees by John Dawson and Rob Lucas) 

Below is part of a report on Condition and Types of Vegetation at Titahi Bay Beach 2007 -2009 by Robin Smith for the Porirua City Council. 
“The coastal edge area although denuded previously of coastal forest is now dominated by mostly local coastal native species. The lower part of the cliff is home to one plant of the Cook Strait endemic plant Melicytus obovatus ssp “Coast” (regionally rare) and is the only example of this species at the south end of Titahi Bay. It is to be noted the Melicytus has been recorded over a hundred years ago and is quite likely to be the same plant. There are around 20 plants at the northern end of Titahi Bay.” 

Photos below are of Melicytus obovatus ssp “Coast” from Titahi Bay with the bright green leaves some with one indent in the margins of the leaf edge and rounded tip and others with no indent.

Photographed at Otari Native Botanic Garden and Wilton's Bush Reserve. Wellington.  

Green berries turning a dark purple late March



Flowers of Melicytus obovatus.  Photographed September at Te Kainga Marire Garden, New Plymouth


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