Hihi volunteer needed

Date posted: 18-Oct-2018

Would you like to volunteer with the Island's hihi team and learn from them how ..

2019 Calendars now available

Date posted: 05-Sep-2018

The new 2019 calendars are now available and this year's is better than ever! Th..

Winners of kokako photo competition

Date posted: 02-Sep-2018

The stunning winning photographs from those submitted to the competition as part..

Kokako Celebration

Date posted: 21-Jul-2018

(https://www.eventbrite.com/e/the-great-kokako-story-celebrating-21-years-..

Kokako Photographic Competition

Date posted: 20-Jul-2018

KĊŒKAKO PHOTOGRAPHIC COMPETITION Celebrating 21 years on Tiritiri Matangi To ce..

New monitoring reports published

Date posted: 19-Jul-2018

Reports on monitoring studies carried out over the past year have now been poste..

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..

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).