A modern reference to temperate woody plants, including updated content from this site and much new material, can be found at Trees and Shrubs Online.

Myrsine nummularia Hook. f.

Modern name

Rapanea nummularia (Hook. f.) W.R.B. Oliv.


Rapanea nummularia (Hook. f.) W. R. B. Oliver; Suttonia nummularia (Hook. f.) Mez

A prostrate evergreen shrub only an inch or two high, with very slender, wiry, reddish brown, slightly downy shoots. Leaves alternate, set on the twigs eight to twelve to the inch, rather leathery, broadly obovate to orbicular, toothless, often slightly indented at the apex, 16 to 13 in. long and wide, dark green, glabrous, rather wrinkled, dotted beneath with numerous translucent glands; stalk 116 in. long, grooved and downy on the upper side. Flowers unisexual, very small and inconspicuous, produced during May and June singly, in pairs, or in threes in the leaf-axils, very shortly stalked, only 16 in. wide, yellowish white; petals four, edged with tiny hairs, concave; anthers almost as large as the petals. Fruits berry-like, globose, blue-purple, 15 to 14 in. wide, containing one seed.

Native of the North and South Islands of New Zealand, at altitudes of 2,000 to 5,000 ft; also of Stewart Island, where it occurs at sea-level. It is fairly hardy at Kew, also at Edinburgh, where I saw it in flower in June 1931. It is really of more interest than beauty unless the fruits, which I have not seen, are abundant enough to be attractive. In general appearance it suggests one of the dwarf, small-leaved vacciniums or a small Cotoneaster microphylla, and is best adapted for the rock garden.



Other species in the genus