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


Streblus banksii (Large leaved milk tree)

Kingdom: Plantae
(Unranked): Angiosperms
(Unranked): Eudicots
(Unranked): Rosids
Order: Rosales
Family: Moraceae
Tribe: Moreae
Genus: Streblus
Species: Streblus banksii
Synonyms: Paratrophis banksii, Streblus heterophyllus var. ellipticus, Paratrophis heterophylla var. elliptica. 
Common names: Large leaved milk tree, Ewekuri, turepo.

Streblus banksii is a dioecious tree or shrub (depending on growing conditions) endemic to New Zealand. It has a spreading canopy and grows up to 12 m high with a short, stout trunk with smooth bark with corky spots. Found in lowland forests as far south as the Marlborough Sounds. It grows in coastal and lowland forests (0­200 m a. s. l.), preferring in deep, fertile soils, large trees are often found on alluvial terraces. On offshore islands it seems more able to tolerate drier conditions and skeletal soils and may at times be found on steep cliff faces, rock ledges, or as stunted shrubs on cobble/boulder beaches.
Its leaves on juvenile plants are 2-6cm long, 1-3cm wide and are often deeply lobed. The adult leaves 3.5-8.5cm long and 2-3.5cm wide with margins with rounded teeth.
In August - October green yellowish flowers appear followed by red berries in October - April which are up to 65 mm diameter, drupaceous, broad ovoid and fleshy.

Its common name the 'Large leaved milk tree' is because when a branch is broken it exudes a milky sap.

The upper surface of the leaf




The underside of a leaf. If the leaf is held to the light the veins can be clearly seen.