Native plants

Black maire

Scientific name: Nestegis cunninghamii

Tree (over 15m) - native to the Wellington Region
Suits: damp, dry, shade, partial shade, sunny, shelter, coastal forest garden, wetlands and water features

About Black maire

A once common species, the handsome black maire should to be more widely grown as it makes an excellent specimen or street tree and once established is remarkably drought and cold tolerant. It ranges from 15 to 20 metre in height with a typical broad rounded crown. The hardness of the wood and uses as firewood has led to its disappearance from most areas, including Wellington. The tree has rough, cork-like bark on a straight trunk growing up to a 1,5 metre wide with a color of grey brown to dark brown. The long leaves are leathery but smaller in adult trees. Juvenile leaves are long and narrow on long spindly steams. Flowering occurs in spring with fruit following from December to April. Flowers are tiny and does not catches they eye. Male and female flowers are often on different trees, but may be on the same as well. Fruit grows to a cm and goes from lime green to rip in orange and bright red and are very popular with birds, especially kereru.

Sometimes hard to tell apart from White maire. Black maire is also common host species for the white mistletoe (Tupeia antarctica).

Provides for birds

  Nectar Fruit Seeds
Key . . .

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