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Melicytus: From the Greek meli (honey) and kytos (hollow container), referring to the staminal nectaries of the flowers. Literally "honey-cave"
chathamicus: From the Chathams
Chatham Island mahoe
Current Threat Status
2012 - At Risk - Naturally Uncommon
Previous Threat Status
2009 - At Risk - Naturally Uncommon
2004 - Range Restricted
2012 - IE, RR
2009 - IE
Melicytus chathamicus (F.Muell.) Garn.-Jones
Small tree bearing oval toothed leaves which have the veins much more visible on the underside inhabiting the Chatham Islands. Leaves 5-13cm long by 2-5cm wide, teeth or margin more obvious towards the tip. Flowers small. Fruit small, white flecked purple or entirely dark purple.
Vascular - Native
Hymenanthera latifolia var. chathamica F.Muell., Hymenanthera chathamica (F.Muell.) Kirk
Endemic to the Chatham Islands. Present on Chatham (Rekohu), Pitt, South East (Rangitira), Mangere and Little Mangere Islands
A common component of coastal forests, occurring on fertile ground in bush remnants and in coastal scrub.
A tree that grows up to 8 m tall and has pale bark. The leaves are up
to 12 cm long, leathery, lance-shaped and toothed, with either pale green or bright red leaf stalks. The tiny flowers can be seen in spring, while the fruit are white berries speckled with purple, which have been recorded from September to April. Male and female flowers occur in separate plants.
Main Flower Colour
Other Flower Colour
September - April
Browsing animals can prevent regeneration and long exposure of forest remnants to grazing has commonly resulted in the loss of this species from the forest.
2n = 32
Where To Buy
Occasionally available from specialist native plant nurseries.
Recorded growing in the wild in the Awarua Ecoligical District in Southland, presumably from garden escapes.
This page last updated on 1 Nov 2018