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


Myrsine nummularia (Creeping matipo)

Kingdom: Plantae
(Unranked): Angiosperms
(Unranked): Eudicots
(Unranked): Asterids 
Order: Ericales 
Family: Myrsinaceae 
Genus: Myrsine 
Species: M. nummularia 
Scientific name: Myrsine nummularia 
Synonyms: Rapanea nummularia, Suttonia nummularia 
Common Names: Creeping matipo, Creeping mapou

Myrsine nummularia is a native prostrate rambling shrub with trailing stems up to 50 cm long. The trunk bark is a reddish-brown. The thick and oval (1 cm long) leaves range in colour from dark greens to golden brown though to a reddish brown colour. This plant grows in rocky alpine scrub and fellfields up to 1600 m altitude. Small flowers appear in October to February and the berries change colour from a pale green to purple when they are ripe (April to May).
The latin name 'nummularia ' means coin, referring to the leaf shape.

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

Photographed early November with winter coloured foliage. Small pale green berries which will change to a purple colour are present.
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