Melicytus ramiflorus | Māhoe


Drainage:DampVery DryWell Drained
Height Range:9
Site Conditions:CoastalExposedFrost TolerantHeavy SoilLoamy SoilSaltySandy SoilWindy
Spread Range:3
Sunlight:Full SunPartial Shade
Features:Attractive FlowersAttractive foliageAttractive to beesAttractive to BirdsAttractive to insectsEvergreenSuitable for Revegetation Species


Melicytus ramiflorus is also called Māhoe or Whiteywood. It grows up to 10 metres high with a trunk up to 60 cm in diameter, it has smooth, whitish bark and brittle twigs. The leaves are yellow to dark green and serrated. Small flowers have a strong, pleasant fragrance. The berries are a striking violet colour when ripe. Flowering occurs in late spring and on into summer while the berries appear later on in summer to autumn.

The berries of Māhoe are eaten by a number of native birds, including kererū and tui, and some geckos.  It is frequently seen in areas of regenerating forest, particularly in areas of disturbed soil. Its early appearance in regenerating forests indicates that it is ideal for revegetation plantings. Its presence attracts frugivory that spread more plants by seed. A good foundation plant for riparian and general revegetation plantings alongside Kanuka.

Melicytus ramiflorus is frost tender when young. Best to plant in Spring in areas prone to frosts as frosts damage young shoots, but not the overall plant. Will recover from heavy frosts. Port Hills plantings will be safe from significant damage. Very common yet endemic NZ tree.

For more information about streamside and riparian edge planting, we recommend Lucas Associate’s Plant List and River & Stream Profiles Guide.

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