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Melicytus ramiflorus, commonly known as Mahoe or Whiteywood, is a native New Zealand shrub. 




  • Appearance: Mahoe typically grows as a small tree, reaching heights of up to 7 metres . It features attractive, glossy, oval-shaped leaves that are light green to dark green, depending on the variety.
  • Flowers and Fruits: The plant produces small, inconspicuous flowers followed by berries that ripen from green to purple or black. These berries are an essential food source for native birds in New Zealand.
  • Bark: The bark of Mahoe is smooth and can range in color from pale to dark brown, often peeling in thin strips.


Growing Conditions: 


  • Light: Mahoe thrives in full sun to partial shade. It can adapt to various light conditions but typically performs best with ample sunlight.

  • Temperature: It is adaptable to different temperature ranges but prefers mild climates. While it can withstand light frost, protecting it from severe cold is recommended.

  • Watering: Regular watering, especially during dry periods, is essential for proper growth. Ensure well-draining soil to prevent waterlogging, but maintain consistent moisture for optimal health.

  • Soil: Well-draining soil with good moisture retention and organic content is ideal. Mahoe can grow in a variety of soil types, including sandy or loamy soils, but it thrives in fertile, well-draining soil.

  • Maintenance: Pruning can help maintain its shape and remove dead or crowded branches. It generally doesn't require extensive care but benefits from occasional maintenance.




  • Ornamental Plant: Mahoe is popular in landscaping due to its attractive foliage and berries, making it suitable for gardens, parks, and native plantings.
  • Ecological Importance: Its berries are a significant food source for native birds like tui and bellbirds, contributing to local ecosystems.
  • Wood: Historically, the wood of Melicytus ramiflorus was used by Maori for crafting tools, weapons, and small items due to its durability and workability.


Melicytus ramiflorus, with its ornamental value and ecological significance as a food source for birds, is valued in New Zealand's natural landscape and horticulture. It's a versatile plant suitable for various garden settings and contributes to the biodiversity of native ecosystems.

Melicytus ramiflorus (Mahoe)

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