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


Tetragonia implexicoma (Kokihi)

Kingdom: Plantae
(unranked): Angiosperms
(unranked): Eudicots
(unranked): Core eudicots
Order: Caryophyllales
Family: Aizoaceae
Genus: Tetragonia
Species: T. implexicoma
Binomial name: Tetragonia implexicoma
Synonyms: Tetragonia trigyna, Tetragonia implexicoma var. chathamica
Common name: Kokihi, Native spinach, Bower spinach, tutae-ikamoana

Tetragonia implexicoma is a prostrate or scrambling, succulent, subshrub that is indigenous to the coast of New Zealand, Kermadec (Herald Islets, Raoul, Macauley Islands), Three Kings, North, South, Stewart and Chatham Islands. It is also present in Australia, the western Pacific, Malesia, Japan and southern South America. When growing in the coastal strand zone it often found along beaches amongst driftwood and seaweed but also in sand dunes, on boulder and cobble beaches, on cliff faces and rock ledges. In New Zealand, the species is highly variable and some populations, notably those from the Kermadec and the Three Kings Islands have rather smaller leaves and with a more compact growth habit.

Tetragonia implexicoma is a trailing perennial herb that forms dense patches of interlacing branches. Branches can reach 1m in length and are coloured red or pink when young, maturing to dark green to brown-black and becoming woody. 
The alternate, often clustered, fleshy, bright to dark green or yellow-green leaves are ovate-rhomboid to triangular. The thick succulent leaves are edible with a similar flavour and texture to spinach.
During September-June small, solitary or paired, yellow daisy-like flowers develop on short stalks. Flowers are followed during September-July by succulent, >8 mm long edible, pink to dark red berries.


The underside of a leaf,



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


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