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NZ Plants

Vitex lucens - puriri

Mint Family: Lamiaceae

Vitex lucens is a large tree with a massive, often irregular,  trunk and spreading branches. The distinctive leaves are a bright dark green with 3-5 leaflets arising from a central point. Leaflets have a wavy margin and an uneven, three dimensional surface with recessed veins. Glands are common on young stems, leaves, sepals and petals. 
An endemic species found in forest of the upper half of the North Island.

More on puriri: Takana Newsletter


Vegetative characteristics

Reproductive characteristics

Plant form: tree up to 20 m

Arrangement of parts: asymmetric


Flower size:  15-20 mm diam. x 20-30 mm long

Leaf form: divided into 3-5 elliptic-oblong  leaflets

Sepals: 5

Leaf size: leaves up to 18 cm; leaflets 5-12 cm

Petals: 5, red

Leaf arrangement: opposite pairs on the stem

Sexuality: bisexual

Leaf attachment:

Stamens: 4

Leaf margin: smooth; juvenile toothed

Ovary: above tepals

Leaf surface: hairless; pores (domatia) on lower surface

Fruit: fleshy