Aristotelia fruticosa

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Aristotelia fruticosa


Aristotelia: Named after Aristotle, the Greek philosopher and polymath
fruticosa: shrubby

Common Name(s)

Mountain wineberry

Current Threat Status

2012 - Not Threatened

Previous Threat Status

2009 - Not Threatened
2004 - Not Threatened


Aristotelia fruticosa Hook.f.



Brief Description

A small-leaved shrub with hairy branchlets and veins evident on the underside of leaves

Flora Category

Vascular - Native


Endemic. North, South and Stewart Islands. Throughout, but often localised in occurrence


Lowland to subalpine forest understory and shrubland, commoner at hgher altitudes


Dioecious, variable, much branched erect or low growing shrub, sometimes spiny, to 2 m tall; trunk and branches sub-divaricate to upright, rigid, sometimes entangled; bark reddish brown; branchlets reddish brown, pubescent. Leaves opposite or in opposite fascicles on arrested branchlets; petioles c. 2 mm long, widening into lamina; midvein inconspicuous above, midvein and secondary veins obvious below; lamina either 5-7 x 4-5 mm, obovate to oblong, coriaceous, dark green, or c. 15 x 9 mm, ovate to lanceolate, thinner, lighter green, margins distinctly serrate, tip acute to obtuse, base cuneate, undersides pale green. Juvenile leaves larger, thinner, irregularly lobed and serrate. Inflorescences inconspicuous, lateral along branchlets, flowers c. 2-3 mm diam., solitary, in opposite pairs or in 3-6 flowered cymes, on short pubescent pedicels 1-2 mm long. Sepals 4, oblong, pubescent; petals 4, slightly > sepals, with 1-4 crenate teeth, white to light pink to red. Stamens 4-6, not projecting beyond corolla, anthers > filaments. Ovary 2- celled(?), styles 2(?). Fruit a c. 2(?)-seeded fleshy berry, 3-4 mm diam., pale, white, pink, bright red to black, bitter to taste. Seed irregularly angled, ventral surface flattened, elliptic, 2.0-2.6 mm, surface irrregular, attachment scar obvious, small orange aril sometimes present.

Similar Taxa

Similar to other small leaved shrub species with veins conspicuous below, particularly Raukaua anomalous (which has a flattened, jointed petiole) and Melicytus micranthus (which has a pale blotch at the base of the lamina)



Main Flower Colour

Red / Pink

Other Flower Colour



November to April

Chromosome No.

2n = 28

Endemic Taxon


Endemic Genus


Endemic Family



References and further reading

Allan, H.H. 1961. Flora of New Zealand. Government Printer, Wellington

Heenan, P.B, de Lange, P.J. 2006. Pseudowintera insperata (Winteraceae), an overlooked and rare new species from northern New Zealand. NZ J. Botany 44: 89-98

Eagle, A. 2000. Eagle's complete trees and shrubs of NZ. Te Papa Press, Wellington

Thorsen, M. J.; Dickinson, K. J. M.; Seddon, P. J. 2009. Seed dispersal systems in the New Zealand flora. Perspectives in Plant Ecology, Evolution and Systematics 2009 Vol. 11 No. 4 pp. 285-309

Webb, C.J. &  Simpson, M.J.A. 2001. Seeds of NZ gymnosperms and dicotyledons. Manuka Press, Christchurch

Wilson, H; Galloway, T. 1993. Small-leaved shrubs of New Zealand. Manuka Press, Christchurch

This page last updated on 10 May 2014

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