Aristotelia serrata

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Wineberry/Makomako
Wineberry-tree.jpg
Aristotelia serrata foliage
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Plantae
(unranked): Angiosperms
(unranked): Eudicots
(unranked): Rosids
Order: Oxalidales
Family: Elaeocarpaceae
Genus: Aristotelia
Species: A. serrata
Binomial name
Aristotelia serrata
Oliv.

Aristotelia serrata, wineberry, is a tree endemic to New Zealand.

Wineberry foliage

The tree, called makomako in Maori, is common throughout New Zealand, in damp disturbed forest margins and damp river edges. It can be classified as a shrub or small tree and can grow to 9 m (30 ft). Its leaves are broad, greenish in colour but can have flushes of pink and grow between 5–12 cm (2–5 in) in size with a long petiole. The edges of the leaf are distinctively serrated.[1] Flowers on the tree are of a red-white colour. The tree produces red or black edible fruits berries between 6–9mm (0.2–0.4 in). Wineberry is an attractive tree, with pinkish foliage and rose coloured flowers in spring. Wineberry is a dioecious tree or shrub with male and female individuals; male and female flowers arise on separate plants, so both sexes are required for the production of red-black berries. Māori children used to feast on the berries, which were also squeezed and strained to make a sweet drink. Although slightly bitter they are not unpleasant to eat and would certainly be useful as an emergency food if you were lost in the bush.

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