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This species is accepted, and its native range is New Zealand North Island.


De Kok, R. (2007). The Genus Vitex L. (Lamiaceae) in New Guinea and the South Pacific Islands. Kew Bulletin, 62(4), 587-603. Retrieved from

Not threatened.
Cytology: 2n = 64 (Dijkgraaf et a. 1995)
Endemic to New Zealand's North Island. A single collection of this species (Maiden & Boorman s.n.) is known from Norfolk Island, where it was collected by J. H. Maiden and J. L. Boorman in November 1902. Maiden was advised while on the island that it was planted (Maiden 1903).
Paddocks and (coastal) secondary and primary forests, at 0 - 800 m altitude.
Morphology General Habit
Tree 13 - 30 m high, 60 - 150 cm DBH
Morphology General Wood
For a detailed anatomical description of the wood, see Patel (1974) or Meylan & Butterfield (1978).
Morphology Leaves
Leaves 3 ( 5) leaflets; elliptic to narrowly elliptic, central leaflet 7 - 12.5 x 3.7 - 5.5 cm, ratio 1.7 - 2.7, side leaflets 3 - 12 x 2.5 - 7 cm, ratio 1.2 - 1.8, glabrous. Base cuneate to oblique, apex acuminate to rarely rounded, margin entire, domatia at the axils between main and side veins
Morphology Leaves Petiole
Petiole 3 - 12.5 cm long, channelled at apex, covered with small glands. Petiolules 4 - 20 mm long, central one about twice as long as side petiolules
Morphology Leaves Leaf veins
Venation pinnate, 9 - 11 main side veins in central leaflets, prominent beneath and sunker above; lower surface covered with small glands
Morphology Reproductive morphology Flowers Androecium Stamens Filaments
Filaments 25 - 30 mm long, glabrous, except for a basal tuft of erect simple multicellular hairs, inserted in lower half of the corolla tube, exceeding the corolla tube; anther c. 2 mm long
Morphology Reproductive morphology Flowers Calyx
Calyx margin even, accrescent, glabrous; glands many; flowering calyx 4.5 - 6 mm diameter, erect; fruiting calyx c. 10 mm diameter, patent
Morphology Reproductive morphology Flowers Corolla
Corolla (4 -)5 - 6-lobed, covered outside with appressed hairs and glands, pink to dark red; lip 10 - 13 x 10 - 13 mm, reflexed, round, apex round, margin entire; side lobes 5 - 8 x 8 - 9 mm, recurved, apex round, dark red; back lobes 8.5 - 10 x 2 - 9 mm, erect, fused 30 - 100% of length, apex round to slightly emarginate; tube 15 - 17 mm long, infundibular, constricted at base
Morphology Reproductive morphology Flowers Gynoecium Ovary
Ovary 2 - 3 mm diameter, globose, glabrous
Morphology Reproductive morphology Flowers Gynoecium Style
Style 20 - 30 mm long, glabrous; stigma 2 lobed, lobes c. 0.6 - 2 mm long, apex acuminate
Morphology Reproductive morphology Fruits
Fruit: when fresh globose, 18 - 20 mm diameter; when dried 9- 16 x 11 - 13 mm long, clavoid; apex round, glabrous, smooth, red when mature
Morphology Reproductive morphology Inflorescences
Inflorescence terminal and lateral, cymose, axis 6 - 7 cm long, angular in cross-section; hairs few, appressed to erect, simple; glands many
Morphology Reproductive morphology Inflorescences Bracteoles
Bracteoles scale-like, triangular to linear, up to 4 mm long, margin ciliate, usually not persistent
Morphology Reproductive morphology Seeds
Seeds 4, (usually fewer by abortion per fruit)
There are two specimens of Banks & Solander s.n., New Zealand, Northern Island, 1769 available (BM and US). The one in the BM is selected here as the lectotype.
Flowering and fruiting throughout the year, but mainly flowering from June - Oct. and fruiting from Nov. - Feb. The flowers are pollinated by native birds such as Prosthemadera novaezelandiae and Anthornis melarnura (Mileliphagidae, honey-eaters). The flowers are protandrous and nectariferous. It has been shown that autogamy and selfing are possible in this species, and that these may be important parts of its breeding system (Godley 1971, Barrell et al. 1997). Seed prodtuction ranges from 8 to 12 %, with usually 1 - 2 seeds per fruit. The low seed production is partly due to inefficiencies in pollination and partly to the breakdown of fully developed fruit (Godley 1971).
New Zealand, Northern Island, 1769, Banks & Solander s.n. (lectotype, BM!; isolectotype, US!).
Pariri (New Zealand) (Cooper & Cambie 1991).

The fruits are eaten by the native kiore (Rattus exulans) (Campbell & Atkinson 1999).

Native to:

New Zealand North

Vitex lucens Kirk appears in other Kew resources:

Date Reference Identified As Barcode Type Status

First published in Trans. & Proc. New Zealand Inst. 29: 525 (1897)

Accepted by

  • Allan, H.H. (1961). Flora of New Zealand 1: 1-1085. R.E.Owen, Government Printer, Wellington.
  • Govaerts, R. (2003). World Checklist of Selected Plant Families Database in ACCESS: 1-216203. The Board of Trustees of the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew.


Kew Bulletin

  • Kirk, T. (1897). Notes on the botany of the Cape District. Trans. & Proc. New Zealand Inst. 29: 509 - 532.

Herbarium Catalogue Specimens

Kew Backbone Distributions
The International Plant Names Index and World Checklist of Selected Plant Families 2021. Published on the Internet at and
© Copyright 2017 World Checklist of Selected Plant Families.

Kew Bulletin
Kew Bulletin

Kew Names and Taxonomic Backbone
The International Plant Names Index and World Checklist of Selected Plant Families 2021. Published on the Internet at and
© Copyright 2017 International Plant Names Index and World Checklist of Selected Plant Families.