Putaputawētā, also known as the marbleleaf or New Zealand marble-leaf, is a small tree or shrub native to New Zealand. It typically grows up to 4-6 meters in height. The leaves are broad and oval-shaped, with a distinctive glossy, dark green upper surface and a pale undersurface.
Putaputawētā is found in various habitats throughout New Zealand, including forests, shrub-lands, and coastal areas. It can tolerate a range of soil conditions.
Putaputawētā has cultural significance to Māori. The tree was valued for its medicinal properties, and the leaves were used to treat various ailments. It also holds spiritual significance and is associated with ancestral connections.
Putaputawētā provides habitat and food for native birds, insects, and lizards. It contributes to the biodiversity of native ecosystems and plays a role in forest regeneration.
Bellbird: The Bellbird is a medium-sized songbird known for its melodious and bell-like call. They are attracted to the nectar-rich flowers of Putaputawētā trees, where they feed on the sweet nectar and also consume berries and insects.
Tomtit: The Tomtit is a small bird species found in New Zealand's forests. They have a distinctive black head and upper body, with a white belly and variable plumage patterns. Tomtits may be seen foraging for insects and spiders among the branches and foliage of Putaputawētā trees.
Tūī: The Tūī is a medium-sized honeyeater with glossy plumage, featuring shades of black, blue, green, and bronze. They visit Putaputawētā trees to feed on the nectar produced by their flowers, and their presence contributes to the pollination of the tree.
Rifleman: The Rifleman is one of the smallest bird species in New Zealand. They have vibrant green plumage, ideal for blending into the forest environment. Rifleman may be observed in Putaputawētā trees, where they forage for insects and spiders.
Fantail: The Fantail is an agile bird known for its distinctive fan-shaped tail and acrobatic flight. They can often be spotted in Putaputawētā trees, where they hunt insects by fluttering and flicking their tail.
Kererū: The Kererū is a large and iconic bird with iridescent green and white plumage. They feed on the fruits of Putaputawētā trees, contributing to seed dispersal through their droppings.
Putaputawētā is not currently listed as a threatened species. However, like other native plants, it can face threats from habitat loss, invasive species, and environmental changes.
To support the conservation of Putaputawētā and other native plants, you can plant native species in your garden, participate in local habitat restoration projects, and educate others about the importance of native biodiversity.