Mida salicifolia


Mida: From maire, the Maori name for this species
salicifolia: willow-leaved

Common Name(s)


Current Conservation Status

2018 - At Risk - Declining

Conservation status of New Zealand indigenous vascular plants, 2012
The conservation status of all known New Zealand vascular plant taxa at the rank of species and below were reassessed in 2012 using the New Zealand Threat Classification System (NZTCS). This report includes a statistical summary and brief notes on changes since 2009 and replaces all previous NZTCS lists for vascular plants. Authors: Peter J. de Lange, Jeremy R. Rolfe, Paul D. Champion, Shannel P. Courtney, Peter B. Heenan, John W. Barkla, Ewen K. Cameron, David A. Norton and Rodney A. Hitchmough. File size: 792KB

Previous Conservation Status

2012 - Not Threatened
2009 - Not Threatened
2004 - Gradual Decline


2009 - RF


Mida salicifolia A.Cunn.



Brief Description

Small tree bearing a variety of shapes of dark green glossy leaves (that are sometimes in pairs) paler underneath with small dots inhabiting the North Island. Leaves narrow and thin or rounded, to 12cm long. Flowers small. Fruit red, in small clsuters at base of leaves.

Flora Category

Vascular - Native

NVS Species Code


The National Vegetation Survey (NVS) Databank is a physical archive and electronic databank containing records of over 94,000 vegetation survey plots - including data from over 19,000 permanent plots. NVS maintains a standard set of species code abbreviations that correspond to standard scientific plant names from the Ngä Tipu o Aotearoa - New Zealand Plants database.

Structural Class

Dicotyledonous Trees & Shrubs


Mida cunninghamii Chatin, M. myrtifolia A. Cunn., M. salicifolia var. myrtifolia (A.Cunn.) Allan, M. eucalyptoides A.Cunn. Fusanus cunninghamii Benth. et Hook.f. ex Kirk,


Endemic. New Zealand: North Island from North Cape to Wellington but scarce south of the Waikato and Bay of Plenty.


Coastal to lowland forest. Often in association with kauri (Agathis australis) but also common in other mixed Podocarp forests. A generalist root parasite.


Small hemiparasitic, glabrescent to glabrous tree up to 6 m tall, bark smooth, grey to grey-black, branchlets slender, brittle. Petioles slender, short, somewhat fleshy. Leaves mostly alternate, sometimes with a few subopposite to opposite, (50-)100(-120) x (10-) 20-30(-40) mm, upper surface dark green to yellow green, very glossy, undersides paler and mat, lamina variable in shape ranging from linear, narrow-lanceolate, ovate to oblong-ovate, broad-elliptic to rhomboid, with all types occasionally present on the same individual, acute, subacuminate to acuminate, somewhat papery, membranous or semi-coriaceous, margins entire, sinuate or distinctly "scalloped". Inflorescence and axillary, few-flowered raceme. Flowers gynodioecious. Pedicels c. 5 mm. Flowers greenish, pink or red. Tepals (4-)5(-6), broadly triangular, caducous, stamens (4-)5(-6), subtended by small hair tufts, disc (4-)5(-6) lobed, stigma 2-4-lobed. Fruit 7-12 x 6-8 mm, narrow-turbinate, bright red, receptacle rim persistent. Description adapted from Allan (1961).

Similar Taxa

Most commonly confused in the vegetative state with species of maire (Nestegis) from which it can be distinguished because Nestegis spp. have leaves that are always opposite, not distichous and have finely spotted leaf surfaces (caused by glandular leaf hairs). In Nestegis spp. there are always short hairs on the young growth and the vegetative buds (which are usually two) are pointed and distinctly maroon-coloured.


September - November

Flower Colours

Green,Red / Pink


October - February

Propagation Technique

Difficult and should not be removed from the wild.


Threatened by possum, goat and deer browse, and in some places almost extinct from the actions of these animals. However it is also extremely common over large parts of its range, and though perhaps most abundant on possum-free islands.

Chromosome No.

2n = 66

Endemic Taxon


Endemic Genus


Endemic Family


Taxanomic Notes

Mida and Nanodea have recently been segregated from the Santalaceae to form a new family the Nanodeaceae (Nickrent et al. 2010).


Prepared by P.J. de Lange April 2004. Description adapted from Allan (1961).

References and further reading

Allan, H.H. 1961: Flora of New Zealand. Vol. I, Wellington, Government Printer.

Gardner, R.O. 1997. Mida salicifolia our native sandalwood. Auckland Botanical Society Journal, 52: 42-43.

Nickrent, D.L.; Malecot, V.; Vidal-Russell, R.; Der, J.P. 2010: A revised classification of the Santalales. Taxon 59: 538-558.

Moorfield, J. C. (2005). Te aka : Maori-English, English-Maori dictionary and index.  Pearson Longman:  Auckland, N.Z.

This page last updated on 19 Dec 2014