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NZ Plants

Muehlenbeckia astonii - shrubby tororaro, mingimingi

Buckwheat family: Polygonaceae

Muehlenbeckia astonii is a many-branched shrub forming dense, interwoven interlaced (divaricating) masses of slender reddish-brown branches. Heart-shaped leaves are borne singly or in groups at the ends of short side shoots. A genus of about 25 species native to the southern hemisphere with five found in New Zealand. Named after the physician and botanist, Henri Gustave Muehlenbeck (1798-1845).
An endemic species found in coastal and lowland areas throughout New Zealand.

Vegetative characteristics

Reproductive characteristics

Plant form: erect bush with interlacing (divaricating) branches

Arrangement of parts: symmetric


Flower size: 2-3 mm diameter

Leaf form: undivided, heart-shaped

Tepals (sepals indistinguishable from petals): 5

Leaf size: 3-10 mm

Sexuality: unisexual and bisexual flowers on different plants

Leaf arrangement: singly along the stem

Stamens: 8

Leaf attachment: stipule

Ovary: above petals

Leaf margin: fine hairs

Fruit: dry

Leaf surface: hairless, glands