Native plants

Shrubby tororaro

Scientific name: Muehlenbeckia astonii
English name: wiggywig bush
Other names: Mingimingi

Pioneer Shrub - native to the Wellington Region
Suits: dry, partial shade, sunny, shelter, exposure, coastal forest garden, coastal and dune garden, small garden or balcony

About Shrubby tororaro

With small bright green heart shaped leaves and with tangled zig-zagging branches this rare shrub makes an interesting contrast plant. Very hardy and tolerates dry conditions and wind, making it very hardy in coastal conditions. The twigs are orange with small flowers from spring until autumn, follwoed by a small edible fruit in June to October. The fleshy white fruits are sugary and attracts a wide range of native birds and lizards to the garden. It is recognised as an important
(and sometimes the only known) host for many endemic invertebrates like copper butterflies and some moths. The seed is also dispersed by animals like geckos. The deciduous habit in winter is unusual, and the bare, interlacing, wiry dark stems in winter are as attractive as the bright green foliage seen in summer. Can be used as a shelter plant in exposed situations or as an informal hedge. It can also easily be pruned to shape. I can grow up to as high as 2-3 metres tall if left undisturbed. If is often found together with  Coprosma crassifolia, Coprosma propinqua, Discaria toumatou or matagouri, Olearia solandri-coastal tree daisy, Ozothamnus leptophyllus-tauhinu and the leafless bush lawyer Rubus squarrosus.

Today its regarded since 2012 as - Threatened - Nationally Endangered. In the wild of M astonii is threatened by lack of regeneration due to competition from exotic grasses, browsing animals and trampling. It is also threatened by loss of its original habitat through disturbance, fragmentation and fire.

Provides for birds

  Nectar Fruit Seeds
Key . . .

Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec

Read more about gardening for birds or see full nectar calendar.

Provides for lizards

  • Complexity and height
  • Protection from predators
  • Clump forming for camouflage and insects
  • Fruit

Read more about gardening for lizards.

More detail