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


Olearia x macrodonta (NZ Holly)

Kingdom: Plantae
(unranked): Angiosperms
(unranked): Eudicots
(unranked): Asterids
Order: Asterales
Family: Asteraceae
Tribe: Astereae
Genus: Olearia
Species: O X macrodonta (hybrid)
Binomial name: Olearia X macrodonta
Common name: New Zealand Holly, Mountain Holly or Arorangi

Olearia X macrodonta is a small sub-alpine evergreen tree endemic to New Zealand, from the plant family Asteraceae.
It is a hybrid derived from narrow leaved Olearia ilicifolia, with which it shares several characteristics including largely undulating and serrated grey-green leaves, and Olearia arborescens. These common characteristics means the two species and the hybrid are often confused with one another. It is found from lowland to sub-alpine forests from the East Cape of the North Island of New Zealand southwards.
It is found occasionally in the South Island and Stewart Island, usually where both parent species occur and at altitudes from 450 -1,200 metres. In Taranaki it is found on Mt Taranaki in the area of Holly Hut (named after this tree O. ilicifolia).Holly hut is Hut is on the north side of Mt Taranaki by the Dome at the top of the Ahukawakawa swamp.

Olearia X macrodonta is a shrub to spreading small tree that grows 1.5-6 metres tall. Its leaves are 5=10 centimetres long, 2.5-4 cm wide, with undulating and coarsely serrated margins, greyish green above. It's flowers are white with yellow centres and grow in large, rounded, much branched corymbs.

This tree can be seen at Spencer Place just off the walkway by  the Te Kainga Marire Garden



The top surface of a leaf


The underside of a leaf.