Illustrated Guide to
of New Zealand
Weeds of New Zealand
by Ian Popay, Paul Champion & Trevor James
ISBN 0 473 09760 5
by kind permission of the
Zealand Plant Protection Society
Publication or other use of images or descriptive
text on these pages is unauthorised unless written permission is
obtained from the authors and publisher.
of the publication Common Weeds of New Zealand must always
Available from Touchwood
Small to medium,
hardy, fast-growing, evergreen, round-headed tree up to 10 m tall,
sometimes a dense shrub. Leaves oval-shaped, glossy on the upper
surface. Flowers white, very sweet-smelling.
- Flowers White,
about 6 mm in diameter, with four sharply bent back lobes at the
end of the corolla tube, and yellow anthers. Flowers strongly-scented,
in broadly pyramid-shaped panicles 25 x 20 cm. Flowers Nov-Mar.
- Fruit Elliptical-oblong
berry-like drupes, 6 x 5 mm, bluish or purplish-black, coated
with powdery bloom.
- Leaves Dark
green, large, glossy on the upper surface, oval to elliptical,
5-13 cm long by 3-6 cm wide. Leaf stalks 1-2 cm long.
- Stems Hairless
Gardens, forest margins,
coastal cliffs and waste places.
NI only, common in
North Auckland, Auckland and coastal Bay of Plenty. Originally
Leaves and fruit poisonous.
Widely believed to contribute to allergies and asthma, although
since the plant is insect-pollinated, it does not produce any
wind-blown pollen. Commonly used as an urban hedge plant in warmer
parts of the country. Listed on the National
Pest Plant Accord (see Introduction for details).
of botanical name
(Lat.) = privet; lucidum (Lat.) = shining, referring
to the glossy leaves.