Wildlands

The Wildlands Logo

The Wildlands logo is a leaf, flower and fruit of puriri (Vitex lucens), an endemic indigenous tree species, which occurs in coastal and lowland forest in northern New Zealand. It is a member of the Verbenaceae family and can attain more than 20 metres in height, with a wide spreading crown and massive trunk and branches. Larger trees tend to occur in gullies and on alluvial sediments. Prior to forest clearance for agriculture it was very common from Northland to the lower Waikato and the Bay of Plenty. Further south it had a more restricted natural distribution, with a southern limit at about latitude 30° 10'.

It was noted by Thomas Kirk in 1889 that: "It has, however, been cut out in many districts where it was formerly plentiful, and will soon become rare and difficult to obtain in quantity."

Puriri is inhabited by the larvae of the spectacular puriri moth (Aenetus virescens), which bore galleries into the very hard wood. In ecological terms, Puriri can be regarded as being a key species in northern forests, as it flowers and produces fruit year-round and is an important food source for indigenous birds and insects. The digitate leaves (3-5 leaflets) are glabrous and dark glossy green. The flowers are dark red and drupes are sub-globose and bright red.