|Māhoe flowers on twigs of a male tree, Karori, Wellington|
|A "normal" violet (Viola sp.), France.|
Māhoe flowers in pulses, all the trees in a location flowering in synchrony several times a summer (Powlesland et al. 1985). Coffee does the same thing. The flowers are small and borne on the twigs, a form of flower presentation called ramiflory. They're scented, especially at night, but it's not a very pleasant smell, in my opinion.
|Melicytus ramiflorus, male flower. Note the vestigial ovary in the centre and the swollen connective at the back of each anther that functions as a nectary|
|Melicytus ramiflorus female flower. Note the large stigma and the nectar produced from the connective at the back of each staminode. Female flowers are about 2/3 the size of males.|
|Māhoe leaf skeletons|
|Viola cunninghamii, Hooker Valley, Mt Cook National Park.|
Mabberley, D.J. 2008. Mabberley's Plant-Book (3rd ed.). Cambridge.
Mitchell, A.D.; Heenan, P.B.; Murray, B.G.; Molloy, B.P.J., de Lange, P.J. 2009. Evolution of the south-western Pacific genus Melicytus (Violaceae): evidence from DNA sequence data, cytology and sex expression. Australian Systematic Botany 22(3) 143–157.
Powlesland, M.H.; Philipp, M.; Lloyd, D.G. 1985. Flowering and fruiting patterns of three species of Melicytus (Violaceae) in New Zealand. New Zealand Journal of Botany 23: 581–596