Māhoe / whitey wood (Melicytus ramiflorus)
Last Modified: 27-9-2023 14:51
Melicytus ramiflorus,Māhoe or whitey wood is a small, common, endemic tree found throughout Marlborough. It is common in coastal, lowland, and low montane native forests throughout the region. Māhoe can be found from the Wither Hills to the Marlborough Sounds, and almost any other parts of the region with native forest. The species is fast growing, and a common feature of regenerating native bush, although tends to be found in wetter areas than kānuka forest.
A distinctive feature of māhoe is dead leaves that form ‘leaf skeletons’.
Māhoe are dioecious, so that individual trees are either male or female. Trees produce copious quantities of nectar on small flowers that grow on stems of branches over a long flowering season from spring to summer. The dark coloured seeds are widely distributed by birds.
Māhoe is associated with fire making in Māori tradition, and is one of the trees associated with fire imparted by Mahuika’s toenail as a resulf of Māui’s exploits.
This example was observed near Havelock.
Image Date: 3/8/2023
Photographer: Christopher Cookson
Location: Latitude: -41.284367 Longitude: 173.758713