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


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..


Botanical name:  Myrsine australis
Maori name:  Mapou
Common name:  Red Matipo 
Height:  6 metres


Myrsine is a large genus of trees and shrubs with an almost worldwide distribution. The plants belong in the primrose family, Primulaceae. New Zealand has 11 endemic species. 

Mapou forms a shrub to small tree about 6m tall. It's red brachlets, reflected in the common name red matipo, and wavy leaves dotted with oil glands, are distinguishing features. Mapou is found throughout New Zealand in forest margins and scrubland. 

The trees are dioecious (separate male and female). Small cream coloured flowers appear, crowded along branchlets, from mid-summer to mid-autumn. Female trees produce small fruits which are a drupe with a single seed. They ripen to a black colour about a year following flowering. The flesh of the fruit contains two important yellow pigmented carotenoids: lutein and zeanthin. These substances provide animals with bright colouration as well as being anti-oxidants. Hihi relish ripe mapou fruit. It gives good feather colour for male birds and rich,
healthy eggs for females.

Photography by Neil Davies
© (flowers, above right) and Warren Brewer © (ripening fruit, below left).