Carpodetus serratus also know as Putaputaweta is a small tree distinctive because of its smallish marble and mottled toothed leaves that grow from its alternating branchlets. The tree has a widespread distribution throughout New Zealand and is naturally found growing in coastal to montane sites including beech forest, stream sides and forest margins. The serratus is a Monoecious tree meaning it has both male and female flowers on the same plant. November through to march these small white flowers with yellow centres appear in clusters.
The Māori name "Putaputaweta" means "many wetas" and refers to wetas living in the holes left by Puriri moth larvae.
Growing up to 10m in height the Carpodetus serratus prefers damp soils, sun or shade in order to thrive. Frost tender when young. Its curiously-mottled bronze leaves and zigzag branches create an elegant and graceful plant. In addition, the abundant white flowers of the putaputaweta attract other insects in spring and its black fruit attract birds in summer which can be a great way to create a sense of bio-diversity in a small garden.
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