Tawapou in a Tube from

By: Motutapu Restoration Trust  06-Dec-2011


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.

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Manuka in a PB3

In 1948, L. R. C. Macfarlane tried to sum it up: ‘North Islanders call this plant “marnaka”, South Islanders “manooka”, while the New Zealand farmers refer to it as a “bloody nuisance”.. As its canopy opens, other species germinate and grow, as it is too shady under the canopy for a second crop of Manuka. Its woody capsules split open when dry or burnt, releasing thousands of fine light seeds that are spread by wind.