Tutu Vs. Tutsan - The Differences

Tutsan foliage and flowersTutsan (Hypericum androsaemum, Family Clusiacae)

Tutsan is a semi woody, semi evergreen, perennial shrub that grows upto 1.5m tall.  All parts of the shrub are hairless.  Leaves are stalkless, broad and oval upto 10cm long and 5cm wide.  Stems are semi-woody, winged and often reddish.  Flowers occur between November and February, are yellow, upto 25mm in diameter with 5 petals and long stamens.  They occur in clusters of 2-8 flowers.  Berries are fleshy, approx 1cm in diameter and change form red to black as they ripen. 

Tutsan fruitTutsan is often seen in bush remnants and plantations throughout NZ.  Although not as poisonous as some other Hypericum species, such as the well-known St. John’s Wort (H. perforatum), the black berries should not be eaten.

Preferred treatment

Tordon Brushkiller applied as a foliar spray.

Alternative treatment

Grazon and Tordon Brushkiller – cut stump spraying is also effective.  Tordon 2G will also provide control. 

TutuTutu (Coriaria species, Family Coriariaceae)

Tutu are rhizomatous, perennial species ranging from low growing shrubs to small trees up to 4m tall.  Leaves are shiny and dark green on the upper surface and paler underneath and grow in characteristic opposed pairs (or occasionally in whorls of three) on short stalks.  Leaf size varies between 6mm and 8cm depending on the species.  Stems are upright or sprawling from the base and darken from green to dark brown or grey with age.  Flowers are small and green with 5 petals and long red pistils and hang in up to 20cm long catkins below leaves.  Flowering occurs from September to March.  Berries are round, shiny and purplish black and contain 5-10 very poisonous seeds.  All parts of tutu are poisonous. 

Tutu flowersTutu grow in bush remnants and margins, in scrub, and often in places modified by humans, like plantations.  The usual lowland species is C. arborea, and in mountains this species grows with the smaller C. sarmentosa

Preferred treatment

Grazon and Tordon Brushkiller – foliar spray.  Apply to fresh regrowth and after frond expansion.

Alternative treatment

Grazon and Tordon Brushkiller – cut stump spraying is also effective.  Tordon 2G will also provide control. 

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