Yellow mistletoe, pirita, piriraki
Elytranthe flavida (Hook.f.) Engl. Loranthus flavidus Hook. F.
Vascular – Native
Trees & Shrubs - Dicotyledons
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.
2n = 24
Current conservation status
The conservation status of all known New Zealand vascular plant taxa at the rank of species and below were reassessed in 2017 using the New Zealand Threat Classification System (NZTCS). This report includes a statistical summary and brief notes on changes since 2012 and replaces all previous NZTCS lists for vascular plants. Authors: By Peter J. de Lange, Jeremy R. Rolfe, John W. Barkla, Shannel P. Courtney, Paul D. Champion, Leon R. Perrie, Sarah M. Beadel, Kerry A. Ford, Ilse Breitwieser, Ines Schönberger, Rowan Hindmarsh-Walls, Peter B. Heenan and Kate Ladley.
2012 | At Risk – Declining | Qualifiers: CD
Previous conservation statuses
2009 | At Risk – Declining | Qualifiers: CD
2004 | Gradual Decline
Semi-parasitic shrub mainly on outer branches of beech trees. Obvious when in flower or from flowers fallen to ground. Leaves oval, dull green and with a reddish margin. Flowers tubular, orange-yellow, in small clusters.
North Island and South Island, New Zealand
Its host is most commonly mountain or black beech but it has been recorded on 13 species, all indigenous to New Zealand. In North Island the species is dispersed by bellbird (Anthonis melanura). It has never been common in the North Island.
This species is a shrub that can grow up to 2 m across. It has leathery leaves that are 2-6cm long, narrow and dull green with deciduous tip. The leaves sit in pairs on opposite sides of the stem and are thick and fleshy with a matt surface. The margins of the leaves are red and are rough to touch. Veins are visible on the lower surface of the leaves. Its flowers are small with orange-yellow to yellow tepals that open right back. The fruit are small, shiny, translucent oval berries (approximately 4-5mm long) and ripen to yellow or gold although fruit have been recorded as yellow, green and orange on herbarium sheets at the Landcare herbarium in Lincoln (CHR).
Peraxilla colensoi, P. tetrapetala. Alepis flavida has disc-like attachment structures and oblong leaves with red margins. The plant grows in the outer branches of its host. Peraxilla colensoi and P. tetrapetala are more leafy, have red flowers, round or diamond-shaped leaves with no red margin. They have different attachment structures and usually grow on the trunks of the host tree.
December to February.
Fruiting from January.
Fleshy berries dispersed by fruigivory (Thorsen et al., 2009).
Animal pests (including possums), fire, collectors, destruction of habitat and hosts, vegetation succession, fungal diseases.
flavida: Pale yellow
Where To Buy
Not commercially available
Fact Sheet prepared for NZPCN by P.J. de Lange 1 August 2003. Description based on Allan (1961).
References and further reading
Allan, H.H. 1961: Flora of New Zealand. Vol. I. Wellington, Government Printer
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 11: 285-309
Please cite as: de Lange, P.J. (Year at time of access): Alepis flavida Fact Sheet (content continuously updated). New Zealand Plant Conservation Network. https://www.nzpcn.org.nz/flora/species/alepis-flavida/ (Date website was queried)