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


Plagianthus divaricatus (Salt marsh ribbonwood)

Kingdom: Plantae
(unranked): Angiosperms
(unranked): Eudicots
(unranked): Rosids
Order: Malvales
Family: Malvaceae
Genus: Plagianthus
Species: P. divaricatus
Binomial name: Plagianthus divaricatus
Common name: Salt marsh ribbonwood, Swamp ribbonwood, Shore ribbonwood, Coastal Ribbonwood, Swamp fragrant ribbonwood, Fragrant ribbonwood, makaka, Runa, Houi, Spreading plagianthus

Plagianthus divaricatus is a deciduous shrub that is indigenous (endemic) to New Zealand. It is naturally found throughout New Zealand in coastal environments, in areas with salt swamp, sandy banks and throughout estuaries. This hardy shrub is now cultivated well inland including alpine situations. 

Plagianthus divaricatus is a small, upright, many-branched shrub that grows up to 3 m tall. It forms dense thickets of reddish-brown, intertwined stems.
It has tiny, undivided, linear, spoon-shaped leaves are 5-20 mm long by 0.5-2mm wide. The leaves have hairs on their surface and their margins are smooth. The leaf arrangement is alternate or in groups.
Masses of small, drooping, cream, strong vanilla scented 5 petaled flowers are produced in spring. The 8-12 stamens colour the flowers centre yellow. The flowers are unisexual on different plants.
The flowers are followed by 5mm wide fruit capsules containing small seeds. The seeds are dispersed by floating on water. The seed capsules are attractive to native birds.
Plagianthus divaricatus is now used as a coastal wetland plant for coastal revegetation and restoration planting.


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