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


Myrsine salicina (Toro)

Kingdom:   Plantae
(Unranked):        Angiosperms
(Unranked):        Eudicots
(Unranked):        Asterids
Order:       Ericales
Family:      Myrsinaceae
Genus:      Myrsine
Species:     M. salicina
Binomial name: Myrsine salicina
Synonyms: Suttonia salicina, Rapanea salicina
Common name: Toro, Long-leaved mapau.

Myrsine salicina is a species of shrub or small tree native to New Zealand. Found throughout much of the country in coastal to montane forests, from North Cape to about Hokitika in the South Island.
It is a small upright tree growing to around 8 metres in height and bears thick, leathery, long, narrow, smooth leaves that are erect and reddish-yellow when young. The trunk has thick, furrowed bark.
The leaves are 7-18cm long by 2-3cm wide, with a smooth edge and the leaves surface is covered with very small glands.
In spring clusters of small cream to pale pink coloured flowers (3 - 5 mm across) are produced along the branches. These are followed by single seeded, red-to purple 8-9mm long fruits.
Myrsine salicina is threatened in areas where the introduced possum occurs, as it is one of their preferred foods.

The early Rotorua Maori used a straight piece of a branch as the handle of a bag net, because the wood is very springy and will not break or snap.

For more details visit:  http://www.nzpcn.org.nz/flora_details.aspx?ID=1011

 



Growing tips. March


Top surface of a leaf.


Close up of the top surface of a leaf.