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NZ Plants

Myrsine australis - māpou, red matipo

Primula family: Primulaceae

Myrsine australis is a small tree with distinctive narrow, wavy-edged leaves that are bright green and speckled with red or with reddish margins. The genus Myrsine consists of about 200 species with an almost worldwide, with a mostly tropical and subtropical distribution.

An endemic species found in lowland forest throughout New Zealand.

More on māpou, red matipo: Takana Newsletter


Vegetative characteristics

Reproductive characteristics

Plant form: shrub up to 7 m

Arrangement of parts: symmetric


Flower size: 2-3 mm diam.

Leaf form: undivided, oval-oblong

Sepals: 4

Leaf size: 30-60 mm

Petals: 4, green

Leaf arrangement: singly along stem

Sexuality: unisexual on different plants

Leaf attachment:

Stamens: 4

Leaf margin: undulate

Ovary: above petals

Leaf Leaf surface: hairs

Fruit: fleshy