The habit of this species varies markedly with its situation. In exposed situations, such as cliffs, it assumes a prostrate habit, while in more sheltered areas it can grow as a small tree up to 8 metres in height. It has thick and very glossy leaves which vary considerably in size, depending on exposure to the elements. The leaf margins are recurved, occasionally to the extent that the leaf may be cylindrical in cross-section. The shiny leaves aids its survival near coastal locations. Flowers are produced in spring and summer, the male flowers appearing in dense, compound clusters, the female flowers in smaller clusters. Female plants produce orange-red ovoid drupes which are around 8 mm in diameter and 10 mm in length.
The species is native to the North Island, South Island, Kermadec Islands and Three Kings Islands in New Zealand. In Australia it has become naturalised in coastal areas of Victoria, New South Wales, South Australia and Tasmania, to the extent that it is now classified as an environmental weed. It is the bane of our garden as the neighbours have a hedge and I am constantly uprooting seedlings from our garden beds...
This post is part of the Floral Friday Fotos meme,
and also part of the Friday Greens meme.
|Glossy "mirror" leaves|