Aristotelia serrata


Aristotelia: Named after Aristotle, the Greek philosopher and polymath
serrata: saw-toothed

Common Name(s)

Makomako, wineberry

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 serrata (J.R.Forst. et G.Forst.) W.R.B.Oliv.



Brief Description

Much-branced small tree with thin heart-shaped sharply toothed leaves flushed with pink on the underside

Flora Category

Vascular - Native

NVS Species Code


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.

Structural Class

Dicotyledonous Trees & Shrubs


Endemic. North, South and Stewart Islands. Throughout, but less common in drier areas.


Lowland to montane forests. Often forming dense thickets following disturbance.


Dioecious tree to c. 10 m tall; trunk and branches upright, to 30 cm diam.; bark smooth, grey, spotted with lenticels; branchlets light to dark red, pubescent. Leaves opposite to subopposite; petiole slender, to 50 mm long, greenish often flushed pink; midvein conspicuous above, raised below; secondary veins obvious and raised below giving surface a wrinkled uneven appearance; lamina membranous, 5-12 x 4-8 cm, glabrate (pubescence may persist on veins below), broad-ovate, margin deeply doubly and irregularly sharply serrate, tip acuminate, base cordate to truncate,upper surface light or dark green, undersides pale green, frequently infused with purple or pink. Juvenile leaves larger. Inflorescences conspicuous, axillary, flowers 4-6 mm diam., in panicles 6-10 cm long, on slender pubescent pedicels 5-10 mm long. Sepals 4, ovate, c. 3 mm long, pubescent, pink; petals 4, 3-lobed (often deeply), c. 9 mm long, white to light pink to red. Stamens many, on glandular minutely pubescent disc, not exceeding petals. Ovary 3-4- celled, styles 3-4. Fruit a c. 8-seeded fleshy depressed-obovoid berry, 5 x 4 mm, bright red to black. Seed irregularly angled, ventral surface flattened, cicular or broadly elliptic, 1.9-3.1 mm, surface irrregular, aril absent.

Similar Taxa

Superficial similarity to Entelea arborescens which is only found in northern New Zealand and which has a single (usually) cork trunk and a less sharply-toothed margin. The leaves of this species are never pink-flushed. Superficial similarity also to Hoheria and Plagianthus species, but the bark of these species falls in thin stringy strips (this is also evident when branchlets are broken).



Flower Colours

Red / Pink,White



Chromosome No.

2n = 28

Endemic Taxon


Endemic Genus


Endemic Family


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

Webb, C.J. &  Simpson, M.J.A. 2001. Seeds of NZ gymnosperms and dicotyledons. Manuka Press, Christchurch.

This page last updated on 10 May 2014