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Kowhai

Posted by Te Tui Shortland on

This stunning yellow blossom is widely regarded as the country’s national flower. This plant has a lot to share for us Māori. It is particularly known for being a clear marker of the beginning of spring. Kōwhai flowers were traditionally used by us Māori to make a yellow dye. Kōwhai tree bark was also used to treat injuries while kōwhai ashes were also incorporated in ringworm treatments. Māori ancestors used to plant kōwhai trees around old settlement sites and sacred places. It is believed that plantings in some places like Wellington were the direct result of Māori tribal invasion and...

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Puawananga

Posted by Te Tui Shortland on

One of the most “showy” native plant climbers that bursts into beautiful white, starry flowers in spring that is often visible for miles. Puawananga flower is believed to be an indicator of whether summer will be early or late. Puawananga can be grown in the garden, but it does have some specific requirements; in the wild, it will naturally root in the cooler temperatures of the forest floor, the root system of a Puawānanga needs to be cool and shaded. If other plants can’t be used as shade, you can try using a thick mulch or even a physical barrier...

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Puriri

Posted by Te Tui Shortland on

Puriri was widely used by us Maori in pre-European times. The wood made weapons and implements and leaves a decoction used for bathing sprains, backache, and ulcers or drunk for sore throats. Its relative scarcity may be due to it normally growing best on high quality, often volcanic soils. These would have been among the first areas cleared for farming by both us Maori and European. European uses are however quite variable, ranging from structural timbers such as piles, sleepers, and bridges to decorative furniture and wood-turning. It is reputedly the best fence post timber in New Zealand. Puriri was...

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