Aristotelia: Named after Aristotle, the Greek philosopher and polymath
Current Conservation Status
2012 - Not Threatened
Conservation status of New Zealand indigenous vascular plants, 2012
The conservation status of all known New Zealand vascular plant taxa at the rank of species and below were reassessed in 2012 using the New Zealand Threat Classification System (NZTCS). This report includes a statistical summary and brief notes on changes since 2009 and replaces all previous NZTCS lists for vascular plants. Authors: Peter J. de Lange, Jeremy R. Rolfe, Paul D. Champion, Shannel P. Courtney, Peter B. Heenan, John W. Barkla, Ewen K. Cameron, David A. Norton and Rodney A. Hitchmough. File size: 792KB
Previous Conservation Status
2009 - Not Threatened
2004 - Not Threatened
Aristotelia fruticosa Hook.f.
A small-leaved shrub with hairy branchlets and veins evident on the underside of leaves
Vascular - Native
The National Vegetation Survey (NVS) Databank
is a physical archive and electronic databank containing records of over 94,000 vegetation survey plots - including data from over 19,000 permanent plots. NVS maintains a standard set of species code abbreviations that correspond to standard scientific plant names from the Ngä Tipu o Aotearoa - New Zealand Plants database.
Dicotyledonous Trees & Shrubs
Endemic. North, South and Stewart Islands. Throughout, but often localised in occurrence
Lowland to subalpine forest understory and shrubland, commoner at hgher altitudes
Dioecious, variable, much branched erect or low growing shrub, sometimes spiny, to 2 m tall; trunk and branches sub-divaricate to upright, rigid, sometimes entangled; bark reddish brown; branchlets reddish brown, pubescent. Leaves opposite or in opposite fascicles on arrested branchlets; petioles c. 2 mm long, widening into lamina; midvein inconspicuous above, midvein and secondary veins obvious below; lamina either 5-7 x 4-5 mm, obovate to oblong, coriaceous, dark green, or c. 15 x 9 mm, ovate to lanceolate, thinner, lighter green, margins distinctly serrate, tip acute to obtuse, base cuneate, undersides pale green. Juvenile leaves larger, thinner, irregularly lobed and serrate. Inflorescences inconspicuous, lateral along branchlets, flowers c. 2-3 mm diam., solitary, in opposite pairs or in 3-6 flowered cymes, on short pubescent pedicels 1-2 mm long. Sepals 4, oblong, pubescent; petals 4, slightly > sepals, with 1-4 crenate teeth, white to light pink to red. Stamens 4-6, not projecting beyond corolla, anthers > filaments. Ovary 2- celled(?), styles 2(?). Fruit a c. 2(?)-seeded fleshy berry, 3-4 mm diam., pale, white, pink, bright red to black, bitter to taste. Seed irregularly angled, ventral surface flattened, elliptic, 2.0-2.6 mm, surface irrregular, attachment scar obvious, small orange aril sometimes present.
Similar to other small leaved shrub species with veins conspicuous below, particularly Raukaua anomalous (which has a flattened, jointed petiole) and Melicytus micranthus (which has a pale blotch at the base of the lamina)
Red / Pink,White
November to April
2n = 28
Life Cycle and Dispersal
Fleshy berries are dispersed by frugivory (Thorsen et al., 2009).
Description adapted from Allan 1961, Heenan and de Lange 2006, Eagle 2000 and Webb and Simpson 2001.
References and further reading
Allan, H.H. 1961. Flora of New Zealand. Government Printer, Wellington
Heenan, P.B, de Lange, P.J. 2006. Pseudowintera insperata (Winteraceae), an overlooked and rare new species from northern New Zealand. NZ J. Botany 44: 89-98
Eagle, A. 2000. Eagle's complete trees and shrubs of NZ. Te Papa Press, Wellington
Thorsen, M. J.; Dickinson, K. J. M.; Seddon, P. J. 2009. Seed dispersal systems in the New Zealand flora. Perspectives in Plant Ecology, Evolution and Systematics 2009 Vol. 11 No. 4 pp. 285-309
Webb, C.J. & Simpson, M.J.A. 2001. Seeds of NZ gymnosperms and dicotyledons. Manuka Press, Christchurch
Wilson, H; Galloway, T. 1993. Small-leaved shrubs of New Zealand. Manuka Press, Christchurch
This page last updated on 10 May 2014