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Classification System: APG IV

Superregnum: Eukaryota
Regnum: Plantae
Cladus: Angiosperms
Cladus: Eudicots
Cladus: Core eudicots
Cladus: Rosids
Cladus: Eurosids II
Ordo: Malvales

Familia: Malvaceae
Subfamilia: Malvoideae
Tribus: Malveae
Genus: Plagianthus
Species: Plagianthus regius
Subspecies: P. r. subsp. chathamicus – P. r. subsp. regius

Plagianthus regius (Poit.) Hochr., Annuaire Conserv. Jard. Bot. Genève 10: 16. (1907)

Plagianthus betulinus
Philippodendrum regium Poit.

Plagianthus regius 11


de Lange, P.J. 2008. Plagianthus regius subsp. chathamicus (Malvaceae)—a new combination for a Chatham Islands endemic tree. New Zealand Journal of Botany 46(3) 381-386. DOI: 10.1080/00288250809509776 Open access

Vernacular names
English: Ribbon Wood

Plagianthus regius or lowland ribbonwood is a tree that is endemic to New Zealand.[1] The common name is simply ribbonwood. The Māori name is manatu but is also known as houi, manaui manatu, puruhi and whauwhi.

The juvenile form has bushy interlacing branches with small leaves, while an older tree will tend to have larger leaves, sometimes with the lower parts of tree still displaying divaricating leaves. A profusion of small white or green flowers appear in dense clusters in spring making it easier to distinguish from the similar lacebark genus. One of the distinctive aspects of this tree is that it is usually deciduous which is unusual for New Zealand, although in the northern areas it can be semi-deciduous.[2] It is considered the largest of New Zealand's deciduous trees growing to 17 metres,[3] and grows in the North, South and Stewart Islands. A subspecies from the Chatham Islands, Plagianthus regius subsp. chathamicus, is very similar but lacks the divaricating aspect.[4]

The bark of the tree was used in Māori traditional textiles such as in fishing nets.[5]
See also

Flora of New Zealand


Melville, R. 1966: "Contributions to the Flora of Australia: VII. Generic Delimitation in the Plagianthus Complex." Kew Bulletin 20: 511-516
"Plagianthus regius - Ribbonwood - Manatu - The Native Plant Centre". www.nznativeplants.co.nz. Retrieved 30 October 2017.
Orwin, Joanna (1 Jul 2015). "Ribbonwood". Te Ara - the Encyclopedia of New Zealand. Retrieved 2 June 2021.
"Plagianthus regius subsp. regius - New Zealand Plant Conservation Network". nzpcn.org.nz. Retrieved 30 October 2017.
Neich, Roger (1996). "New Zealand Maori Barkcloth and Barkcloth Beaters". Records of the Auckland Institute and Museum. 33: 111–158. ISSN 0067-0464.

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