Myoporum rapense subsp. kermadecense


Myoporum: shut pore

Common Name(s)

Kermadec ngaio

Current Conservation Status

2012 - At Risk - Naturally Uncommon

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 - At Risk - Naturally Uncommon
2004 - Range Restricted


2012 - CD, IE
2009 - IE


Myoporum rapense subsp. kermadecense (W.R.Sykes) Chinnock



Brief Description

Spreading small tree bearing glossy dark green narrow toothed leaves inhabiting the Kermadec Islands. New growth very glossy, dark and sticky. Leaves to 25mm wide, tapering to a point. Flowers white with purple spots, at base of leaves. Fruit pink, on a stalk.

Flora Category

Vascular - Native

Structural Class

Dicotyledonous Trees & Shrubs


Myoporum kermadecense Sykes


Endemic. Kermadec Islands (the Meyers, Chanter, Raoul, Macauley, Cheeseman and Hazard Islands).


A common and often dominant species of rock stacks and coastal scrub. Sometimes forming a dense forest. On the Raoul Island it is a common component of coastal forest both as a canopy dominant and as an understorey species.


Low spreading shrub to slender tree up to c.13 m high, habit dense or open with foliage clustered towards ends of shoots, glabrous except for the corolla and style, bark rough and furrowed in older plants. Shoots purple when young, with viscid, purple-black, rarely green, buds. Leaves on reproductive shoots, subsessile or with petiole to 10 mm long. Lamina (30-)35-80(-100) x (7-) l0-25(-40) mm, usually narrow elliptic or elliptic lanceolate, sometimes in exposed situations elliptic or elliptic-obovate, submembranous to rather succulent, glands scarcely visible, margins serrulate (except towards base), sometimes obscurely so, very rarely entire, base attenuate, apex short to long acuminate. Leaves on juvenile and vegetative shoots often larger (to 170 x 50 mm), more strongly toothed and juvenile ones may have evident glands. Flowers in fascicles of 2-5, sometimes solitary. Pedicels 10-14 mm long at anthesis, to 18 mm long in fruit, slender, angular. Calyx lobed to near base; segments 5, 2.7-3.5 mm long in flower, narrow lanceolate to narrow triangular, occasionally ovate-lanceolate, entire, glabrous or less commonly ciliolate, acuminate, accrescent and 3-5 mm long in fruit. Corolla 11-15 mm diameter, (4)-5-lobed, white with purple dots (very rarely dots absent), bearded inside; corolla tube 4-7 mm long, lobes 4-7 x 3-5 mm, oblong or elliptic-oblong, pellucid glands present; apex rounded. Filaments 5-8 mm long; anthers exserted, 1.3-1.5mm long, reniform. Style 4-5(-6) mm long, hairy. Fruit 5-8-(10) long, broad oblong to ovoid, mauve, occasionally white, smooth.

Similar Taxa

Differs from M. laetum by the narrow elliptic or elliptic-lanceolate rather than narrow to broad elliptic or obovate leaves that are 10-25 mm wide (cf. 15-45 mm in M. laetum); short to long acuminate rather than acute, mucronate, or shortly acuminate leaf apices; inconspicuous, small lamina glands; narrow triangular to narrow lanceolate, rather than lanceolate to ovate calyx lobes and broad oblong to ovoid rather than broad oblong, narrow to broadly ovoid fruits.


Present throughout the year

Flower Colours

Violet / Purple,White


Present throughout the year

Propagation Technique

Easily grown from fresh seed and by semi-hardwood cuttings. Very fast growing and excellent for a dry, sunny situation or as a hedge plant. Cold sensitive. Will hybridise with M. laetum or M. aff. insulare.


Not threatened. Listed because it is a locally endemic naturally confined to the large islands of the Kermadec Islands group

Chromosome No.

2n = 108

Endemic Taxon


Endemic Genus


Endemic Family





Fact Sheet prepared for the NZPCN by: P.J. de Lange (20 August 2009). Description from Sykes (1987) but see also Chinnock (2007).

References and further reading

Sykes, W. R. 1987: Kermadec ngaio (Myoporum, Myoporaceae). New Zealand Journal of Botany 25: 595-601. 

Chinnock RJ 2007. Eremophila and allied genera. New South Wales, Rosenberg Publishing.

This page last updated on 15 Mar 2015