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Myrsine australis (A. Rich.) Allan Myrsinaceae

Mapau, Mapou, Matipo

Derivation: Myrsine=Greek term for myrrh; australis= southern

I grew up around Waiuku calling this plant matipo, but mapau is the more widely used Maori name locally. The bright red branchlets and reddish cast and wavy edge to the leaves are the obvious identifiers here. Mapau is one of the early colonisers beneath the pine canopy at Woodhill.

Sometimes confused with Pittosporum tenuifolium, but while the leaves can be similar, P.tenuifolium has more of a blue cast to its foliage.

Here is a seedling

and here is a young branch

New Zealand Flora references

Family: Myrcinaceae

Genus Myrsine

Species: Myrsine australis


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