Myrsine variabilis (MYRSINACEAE) Muttonwood

Plants to Plant

Small tree to 12 m, important dry rainforest regenerator in rainforest and open forest on the coast and adjacent ranges north from Milton, NSW. Often in exposed positions on the coast. Formerly Rapanea variabilis. Leaves mostly obovate to oblanceolate, 3-10 cm long, usually 1-3 cm wide, margins entire or with prominent stiff, almost prickly teeth, especially in juveniles, upper surface shiny green, lower surface duller, lateral veins more or less equally distinct on both surfaces in dried and fresh material; petiole 3-7 mm long. Very hardy and drought tolerant. Host plant for the White-banded Line-blue butterfly Nacaduba kurava parma. Also a good plant for attracting birds.

Photo: Robert Whyte

Variable Foliage

These photos show the variation in the leaves which can be light or dark green, and toothed or entire as in the photo above and below this one. The top two images in this group of three are juveniles In the wild, the third is of tubestock in the nursery.

Photo: Robert Whyte


Fruit 4-6 mm in diameter, blue when ripe, in November to January. The fruit ripens to an attractive blue-violet purple, after starting as a whitish yellow. Note the entire (not toothed) leaf margins in these images.
Photo: Robert Whyte