Myrsine divaricata (Weeping matipo)
Species: M. divaricata
Binomial name: Myrsine divaricata
Common Names: Weeping matipo, Weeping mapou
Myrsine divaricata is a small evergreen, bushy shrub, with spreading, drooping branches, which can grow to 7m high and have a trunk up to 40cm in diameter. The drooping branches give rise to woody interlacing (divaricating) branchlets bearing solitary leaves or leaves in groups (fascicles).
The small leathery leaves are 7–12 mm long broad, heart shaped and are strongly notched at the tip and have with thickened margins. Solitary leaves are arranged alternately along the stem. The leaves in fascicles are attached to short side branches, with thickened margins. Oil glands appear as dots scattered within the leaf blade but especially prominent at the margins.
Tiny flowers, with pale yellow or red petals, occur singly or in clusters.
Small 4-5 mm in diameter fleshy fruits (drupes) is formed.
Myrsine divaricata is endemic in lowland to higher montane forests and shrublands, in North Island (from latitude 35° southwards), South Island, Stewart Island, Auckland Island, and Campbell Island. It is present on Mt Egmont/Taranaki at an altitude where the shrubs become smaller and more compact.
A young nursery plant. photographed at Fairfields nursery New Plymouth
Stem of young plant
To surface of the leaves
The underside of the leaves. Oil glands appear as dots scattered within the leaf blade but especially prominent at the margins.
The leaf of an adult shrub.