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NZ Plants

Melicope simplex - poataniwha

Rue family: Rutaceae

Melicope simplex is a shrub with interlacing (divaricating) branches bearing small, round leathery leaves. Juvenile stages have much smaller leaves and they are often divided into three leaflets (trifoliate). Melicope is a genus with over 200 species found in the Hawaiian Islands east to tropical Asia, Australia and New Zealand.
An endemic species found in coastal and lowland forests throughout New Zealand.

Vegetative characteristics

Reproductive characteristics

Plant form: shrub up to 8 m

Flower symmetry: symmetric


Flower size: 5-7 mm diam.

Leaf form: undivided, round with flattened petiole; juvenile divided 1-3 times

Sepals: 5

Leaf size: 10-20 mm

Petals: 5, green, white

Leaf arrangement: in opposite pairs, singly or on on short shoots

Sexuality: bisexual to unisexual

Leaf attachment:

Stamens: 8-10

Leaf margin: toothed

Ovary: above petals

Leaf surface: smooth, glands

Fruit: dry