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.


This "flower of learning" is the child of two stars, Rehua (Antares, the sign of summer) and Puanga (Rigel), the star of the harvest, time for planting for the season of plenty to come.


Our past ancestors believe in using puawananga for medical purposes. Wahine (Female) would use it for multiple things like general blood disorders, skin eruptions, kidney troubles, haemorrhages, and bleeding piles. They would use the leaves to produce blisters as a counter-irritant and the sap to help heal wounds. Puawananga was only taken by wahine. They would take it three times daily before meals.


Planting a Puawananga

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. The ideal spot is to plant it amongst shrubs in a light, airy soil and have somewhere for it to climb–for example, along your fence or up an established tree. It won’t tolerate water-logged roots.


If other plants can’t be used as shade, you can try using a thick mulch or even a physical barrier of bits of wood or old pots–anything to keep it cool, moist, and in the shade.


The puawananga are developing their seed heads! They can take up to 3 years to germinate but we are up for the challenge! A beautiful day observing & collecting seeds, medicine, and kai along the coast, followed by an evening processing some of our seed that has dried since last season. We have over 50 varieties! It's full moons at the moment. We hope you are channelling this big energy to achieve your goals too.