Scientific name: Syzygium maire
Maori name: Maire tawake
Other names: Waiwaka
(10m - 15m)
- native to the Wellington Region
Suits: damp, partial shade, sunny, shelter, coastal forest garden, wetlands and water features
About Swamp maire
An attractive tree now often scarce or absent over large parts of its former range due to the clearance of swamp forest.
A great tree to plant in wet, boggy and other waterlogged situation of the garden. Swamp maire develops aerial roots (pneumataphores) (breathing roots like mangroves) that protrude above ground and a buttressed trunk to deal with these problems. It is however, frost tender and drought intolerant. It has a spreading canopy and a trunk up to 60cm diameter. Trunk can be solitary or with several trunks arising from base. The bark has pale or whiteish coloration and branching out with pairs of yellowish-green 4 cm long oval pointed leaves, often marked by small blisters and dark patches, the margins are wavy and curve under. Creamy-white flowers in teh autumn about 1cm wide and with many projecting white filaments, in clusters. They are followed by red blunt-tipped fruit around 3 cm in late winter. The fruit is godo source of food for birds, like kereru when other food is scarce. The fruit are also edible and can be eaten raw or cooked.
Mostly found naturally in coastal and lowland riparian forest in waterlogged ground, on the margins of swamps and streamsides. Swamp maire is unlikely to be confused with any other indigenous plant. It could possibly be confused with teh weedy monkey apple (S. smithii) which sometimes grows with S. maire in urban forest remnants. Not Threatened nationally. However, many populations now qualify as "Living Dead" as they persist (and are in slow terminal decline) as remnants within partially drained farmland (previously riparian forest). In Wellington it is listed as regionally threatened, "as relict".
Provides for birds