Scientific name: Discaria toumatou
English name: Wild Irishman
- native to the Wellington Region
Suits: dry, sunny, exposure, coastal and dune garden, small garden or balcony
Very uncommon in the North Island, but an excellent drought-tolerant hedge plant. A slowgrowing thorny bush or small tree with small leaves and characteristic needles that may be several centimetres long. Great to plant around garden or under windows for unwanted intruders. It has tangled, zig-zagging long flexible twigs branched and grows up to 5 metre. It has very few leaves for most of the year and mostly in spring. The leaves are dark green as are the fresh needles. The bark is rough and grey. Small greenish-white flowers which makes a very good honey. Flowers are followed by a dry orange little capsule. Its flowers makes a very good and smooth honey.
Matagouri has special micro-organisms on its roots that enable the plant to take nitrogen from the atmosphere and convert it into a form that can be used by the plant. This means it can relatively nutrient-poor habitats. They enrich the soil around them and thereby allow other native plant species to regenerate. Often seen with coastal tree daisy, Saltmarsh ribbonwood, sand coprosma and mingimingi, C propinqua.
Provides for lizards
- Protection from predators
- Ground cover for retreat
- Clump forming for camouflage and insects
Read more about gardening for lizards.