swamp maire, maire tawake, waiwaka
Endemic. North and South Island from Te Paki south to Rarangi
(near Blenheim). Now often scarce or absent over large parts of its
former range due to the clearance of swamp forest.
Mostly found in coastal and lowland riparian forest in waterlogged
ground, on the margins of swamps and streamsides. Also found in
some of montane forest and cloud forest of Northland (e.g.,
Tutamoe) and the western Waikato (Pirongia, Taumatatotara and
Tawarau) where high rainfall and poor drainage provide ideal
conditions for this tree to establish on hill slopes, tablelands and
with karst landscapes.
Glabrous tree to c.16 m high. Trunk up to 0.8 m dbh, solitary or
with several arising from base, often with knees and where the
root plate is exposed frequently bearing pneumatophores. Bark
smooth, pinkish grey, greybrown or white, flaking in soft or
brittle, irregular shards. branches numerous, spreading, branchlets
numerous, spreading, 4angled. Leaves opposite, subcoriaceous,
adaxially yellowgreen to green, glossy often bearing small galls
and leaf blisters, midrib impressed, side veins slightly impressed
scarcely evident when veiwed from above; abaxial surface pale
green, midrib prominently raised, side veins evident when fresh or
dried; margins entire, sinuate or undulate; petioles 510 mm long,
slender, brittle. Lamina 1560 × 1025 mm, usually elliptic,
sometimes broadly elliptic. Inflorescences in cymose 530
flowered clusters,up to 100 mm diameter. Pseudopedicels slender.
Hypanthium 23 mm long at anthesis, obconic; calyx lobes very
short and broad, persistent on fruit. Petals 23 mm diameter,
orbicular, white, forming calyptrum in bud, caducous. Stamens
numerous, 512(18) mm long, white, in 68 (or more) indistinct
whorls, filaments 4.517.5 mm long, white, anthers basifixed,
pollen white. Style 518 mm long,distinctly broader than stamens
and tapering, cream to yellowgreen. Ovary adnate to base of
hypanthium. Fruit 1015 mm diameter, subglobose, broad
ellipsoid or ellipticovoid, flesh deep crimson, glossy. Seed 1, 611
mm long, obovate, testa dull, very hard, covered in fibres, striped
pale orangeyellow and pale brown, brown or greybrown.
Not Threatened. However, many populations now qualify as "Living Dead" as they persist (and are in slow
terminal decline) as remnants within partially drained farmland (previously riparian forest). In some parts of
its range it is listed as regionally threatened, e.g., Auckland and Wellington.
Factsheet prepared by: P.J. de Lange (5 November 2005). Description based on Webb et al. (1988), Webb &
Simpson (2001) and observations made from fresh material.
Cameron, E.K., Cutting, M. 1995. Maire tawake at Browns bay Auckland. Auckland Botanical Society Journal,
Webb, C.J.; Simpson, M.J.A. 2011: Seeds of New Zealand Gymnosperms and Dicotyledons. Christchurch,
Webb, C. J.; Sykes, W. R.; GarnockJones, P. J. 1988: Flora of New Zealand. Vol. IV. Naturalised
Pteridophytes, Gymnosperms, Dicotyledons. Christchurch, New Zealand, Botany Division, D.S.I.R.
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Caption: Flower of Syzygium maire
© 2013 New Zealand Plant Conservation Network www.nzpcn.org.nz