Aristotelia serrata Wineberry makomako
Wineberry is an attractive shrub or small tree reaching 10 m, with a trunk up to 30 cm in diameter. The bark of young branchlets is reddish or pinkish, but older bark is greyish-brown. The leaves are broadly ovate, 5–12 cm long, and have a long stalk. The leaf blade is broad and rose-coloured, and leaves are soft, brittle and easily torn. The tree is partly deciduous; in southern latitudes, the period of deciduousness is longer than in the north. Wineberry’s rose-coloured flowers are produced in panicles, and the berry is 5 mm broad by 4 mm long and reddish-black, looking similar to a bunch of grapes. The seeds are angular, up to eight per berry. The berry can be eaten straight from the tree.
Makomako grows best in a sheltered situation, although it prefers light. It occurs almost everywhere in New Zealand in coastal to montane regions, and is a tree of forest margins and stream edges, especially common after forest disturbance or fire.