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 = 36
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 | Not Threatened
Previous conservation statuses
2009 | Not Threatened
2004 | Not Threatened
Bushy small tree with glossy green leaves composed of three leaflets at the end of a long stalk and clusters of dry fruit enclosing a black shiny seed. Leaf blades 7-10cm, oval, three together on a long stalk. Flowers white. Fruit dry, splitting to show 2-3 seeds on a stalk.
Endemic. Kermadec, Three Kings, North and South Islands.
Coastal to lowland forest, often favouring margin habitat.
Shrub or small tree up to 6 m tall. Branchlets slender, pale yellow-green when young. Leaves opposite, 3-foliolate, on petioles up to about 50 mm long; petiolules very short to 5 mm long. Lamina thinly coriaceous, (50)-70-100 x (20)-30-40 mm, subacute to acute, obovate-cuneate to elliptic- to ovate- or obovate-oblong, entire (all forms may be on same plant). Subfloral leaves may be 2-foliate or single. Inflorescence of often paired axillary cymes, frequently tri-branched, on peduncles approximately 20 mm long; bracts minute, ovate; pedicels approximately 5 mm long. Flowers perfect or unisexual, 8-10 mm diameter. Sepals ovate-oblong, about 1.5 mm long, gland-dotted; petals greenish, ovate-oblong, concavo-convex, about 5 mm long, gland-dotted. Ovary glabrous, style short, stout. Disk annular, lobulate. Cocci approximately 5 mm long, pale brown, wrinkled and punctulose. Seed approximately 5 mm long, black, glossy, testa brittle.
The hybrid between M. simplex x M.ternata, usually has trifolate leaves which are usually smaller than this species and often darker green like M. simplex, not yellow/green as in M. ternata. Hybrid seedling may be more difficult to separate from this species.
September - October
October – February (-April)
melicope: Honey cut
Where both species of Melicope co-exist hybrids may occur, these historically have been referred to as M. mantelli, they should be called M. ternata x M. simplex.
Description adapted by M. Ward from Allan (1961).
References and further reading
Allan, H. H. 1961. Flora of New Zealand. Vol. 1. Wellington: Government Printer. Pg. 425-426.