Kahikatea (White pine) Dacrycarpus dacrydioides
Height to approx…60 metres.
Maori usage…Bird spears, and as a tonic. Seed base eaten.
New Zealand’s tallest and most ancient native tree dating back over 100 million years. Once used for butter boxes, wood being odourless, clean and light. Native birds eat berries.
Kareao (supplejack) Ripogonum scandens
Lengthly and strong climbing vine.
Maori usage…Growing tips and berries eaten. Boiled root juice used for rheumatism, bowels, fever and skin rash. Used for ladders to climb trees, cliffs and enemy defences and to make fishing baskets. Also tying up fences and platforms etc.
Berries, which are carried for most of the year, are favoured by native birds.
Kauri Agathis australis
Height to approx...50 metres. Girth can exceed 20 metres.
Maori usage…Large Wakas (canoes) up to 25 metres long. Felled then hollowed out with fire and stone tools. Also large carvings.
One of the worlds largest trees. Most famous living Kauri (Tane Mahuta in Northland) is approx. 2100 years old.
Versatile wood has many uses, furniture etc. Gum once used for fine vanishes and dental impressions. Spars once used for ship masts.
Kotukutuku (Tree fuchsia) Fuchsia excorticata
Height to approx...14 metres.
Maori usage…Berries eaten, some medicinal use in vapour bath after childbirth.
Worlds tallest Fuchsia. Easily identified by its loose and papery orange coloured bark. Native birds eat its berries generally known as Konini. Loses its leaves in winter.
Makomako (Wine berry) Aristotelia serrata
Height to approx…10 metres.
Maori usage…For burns, boils, sore eyes, rheumatism and as a dye.
Can lose its leaves in winter. A favoured native bird food. Once used for winemaking.
Rimu (Red pine) Dacrydium cupressinum
Height to approx…35 metres (can exceed this).
Maori usage…Part of the seed eaten. Gum used to stem bleeding.
Can live to approx. one thousand years. Beautifully grained, once used for framing. Now for fine finishing, furniture, paneling, doors etc.
Captain Cook, in Dusky Sound in March 1773, concerned about scurvy (sickness) amongst his crew, brewed a liquour he called spruce beer from young Rimu shoots.
Our Podocarp rain forests, of which the Rimu is a notable member, are among the most ancient forests in the world. The oldest (Kahikatea) dating back more than 100 million years.
Tawa Beilschmiedia tawa
Height to approx…25 metres
Maori usage…Long Bird Spears, kernels eaten, cleansing wounds, stomach aches and colds.
Berries (or drupes) eaten by Kereru (native wood pigeon) and wild pigs. Burns green. Used in papermaking and for furnishings.
Our magnificent mature Tawa trees covered in Supplejack vines and Astelias could be several hundred years old.
Kiokio (Palm-leaf fern) Blechnum species
Height to approx…1.2 metres.
Maori usage…Wrapping food to add flavour in a hangi (underground steam cooking method). Fiddleheads eaten.
Large creeping ground fern. Can be weed-like in some circumstances.
Mamaku (Black tree fern) Cyathea medullaris
Height to approx...20 metres.
Maori usage…Pith used for sores and wounds and steamed for food. Trunk slabs used for rat-proof food storage lining.
New Zealand’s tallest tree fern. Decorative core wood used in souvenir products.
Ponga (Silver fern) Cyathea dealbata
Height to approx...10 metres.
Maori usage…Were placed on ground silver side up to illuminate path. Also used for bedding.
New Zealand's national symbol. Underside of leaves and stem coloured silver.
Wheki Ponga (Tree fern) Dicksonia fibrosa
Height to approx…8 metres.
Maori usage…Trunk used as building slabs and rat-proof food store lining.
Slowest growing NZ tree fern. Retains a skirt of dead fronds for many years.