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


Nestegis lanceolate (White maire)

Kingdom: Plantae
(Unranked): Angiosperms
(Unranked): Eudicots
(Unranked): Asterids
Order: Lamiales
Family: Oleaceae
Genus: Nestegis
Species: N. lanceolata
Binomial name: Nestegis lanceolate
Synonym: Gymnelaea lanceolata
Common name: White maire,

Nestegis lanceolate is a tree native to New Zealand.
It is found from lowland to hilly forests up to 600 metres altitude across the North Island. In the South Island it’s uncommon and is found in the NW corner.
It is a canopy tree with a straight trunk and grows to approximately 15 metres high. Is bark is rough and furrowed and the branchlets have pale bark.
Nestegis lanceolate has long (5-12 cm x 1-3.5cm), leathery and glossy leaves. These leaves have smooth margins and a midrib that is level with the surface, underside has only a midrib visible.
Flowerheads are 1-2cm long, containing about 5-10 tiny (2mm) greenish flowers and produced in spring and are followed by a 1 cm long fruit that tapers at the end. They are green at first turning red when ripe

The wood of N. lanceolata is one the hardest native timbers of New Zealand. It was traditionally used by the Māori to make tools and weapons. A variety of digging sticks were made from the timber for food gathering and gardening. The wood was also used for beams in the construction of storage houses.

 

Photos below taken at Otari Native Botanic Garden and Wilton's Bush Reserve. Wellington.
 

The trunk.