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


Streblus smithii (Three Kings milk tree)

Kingdom: Plantae
(Unranked): Angiosperms
(Unranked): Eudicots
(Unranked): Rosids
Order: Rosales
Family: Moraceae
Tribe: Moreae
Genus: Streblus
Species: S. smithii
Binomial name: Streblus smithii
Common names: Three Kings milk tree,Smith's Milkwood, Smiths Milk Tree,

Streblus smithii is endemic to Three Kings Islands north of New Zealand. A small tree up to 5 m tall with a spread of up to 4m. It has leathery >16 cm long leaves with smooth margins. The bright green leaves are attached alternately along the stem. The lower surface of the leaf is slightly paler and has prominent veins.
A pair of long tapering stipules is found on either side of each leaf stalk.
The small unisexual flowers are crowded into 5-12 cm long spikes. The female flower consists 4, green-purple hair-covered tepals surrounding an ovary with two feathery stigmas at its top. After flowering small red and fleshy fruits (drupe), 8-9 mm in diameter is formed.
The bark exudes a thick white (milk-like) sap when cut hence it common names.

Photographed at Pukekura Park, New Plymouth.


A small tree photographed at Otari Wilton Bush Reserve, Wellington
 
The underside of the branches showing the hanging unisexual flowers on 12 cm long spikes.




Photo showing the flower spikes length compared toa mature leaf.


A closeup of the unisexual flowers.




 

 
The stem of a shrub.with distinctive lumps on the bark.