Tawapou in a Tube from
Motutapu Restoration Trust
Growing to 15 metres in height, tawapou (Pouteria costata) only occurs in northern coastal forests. It has shiny green, leathery leaves that exude a milky fluid when torn. Tawapou’s flowers are tiny, only a few millimetres long – they seem disproportionate to the big orange berries that develop from them. Inside the berry are several shiny black seeds, which were used for necklaces by Maori. Kiore (Polynesian rats) eat the berries and have stopped the tree from regenerating in some areas.