2018 Concert coming up soon

Date posted: 15-Feb-2018

Our 2018 concert will feature an afternoon of light classics and jazz courtesy of the Auckland Ph..

Wetapunga talk coming soon

Date posted: 05-Feb-2018

For the Social on 19 March the speaker will be Ben Goodwin of Auckland Zoo, who will talk about t..

Rat caught and now takahe released from pens

Date posted: 28-Jan-2018

Thankfully DOC staff Andre de Graaf and Polly Hall and their assistants have trapped the rat whic..

Your Christmas Shopping for a Song

Date posted: 04-Dec-2017

Aka - The Grand Christmas Shopping Expedition to Tiritiri Matangi Island Shop Dreading..

2018 Photo Comp opens for entries

Date posted: 27-Nov-2017

The 2018 Photo Competition is now open for entries. Click here (/2018-photo-competition-tiritiri-mat..

New reports on ruru nesting and Island conservation

Date posted: 02-Oct-2017

Two new reports have been added to the website. The first gives details of a summer students..

2018 calendars now available

Date posted: 27-Sep-2017

Our latest calendar, beautifully illustrated with images taken on the Island, is now available fo..

Guided walks for photographers

Date posted: 21-Jun-2017

For a wonderful day of wildlife photography please join us on Tiritiri Matangi Island for a Ph..

Ferry discounts for Supporters

Date posted: 18-May-2017

Tiritiri Matangi Island, the perfect winter's day trip. The birds are at their best, warm up w..

More kiwi for the Island

Date posted: 04-Apr-2017

In 1993 and 1995, sixteen little spotted kiwi were released on Tiritiri Matangi Island. The ma..

Pirita - Green Mistletoe

 

Botanical name:  Ileostylus micranthus
Maori name:  Pirita
Common name:  Green mistletoe


Pirita, a member of the mistletoe family, is described as a woody, epiphytic, much branched hemiparasite. Its leathery green leaves use photosynthesis to produce the sugar and starch necessary for plant cell formation. It also uses its attachment to the host plant to tap into sap channels to get water and mineral salts. It can form several of these attachments which are called haustoria. From September to December, pirita produces tiny greenish yellow flowers which are pollinated by insects. Following pollination small berries ripen to a bright yellow from December to April. The berries are sweet and juicy and were eaten by Maori.

Pirita is spread mainly by birds, who eat the berries and then wipe their bills on tree-bark to remove the sticky seeds. The seeds get lodged in cracks in the bark and germinate there.

Only two pirita plants have so far been found on Tiritiri. They are attached to Karo (Pittosporum crassifolium). It is hoped that sharped-eyed botanists visiting the Island will discover more.



Photography by Warren Brewer © (buds, top, and flowers, bottom).