Weinmannia racemosa

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Kāmahi
KamahiFoliage.jpg
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Plantae
(unranked): Angiosperms
(unranked): Eudicots
(unranked): Rosids
Order: Oxalidales
Family: Cunoniaceae
Genus: Weinmannia
Species: W. racemosa
Binomial name
Weinmannia racemosa
Kāmahi flowers

Weinmannia racemosa, commonly called kāmahi, is an evergreen small shrub to medium-sized tree of the family Cunoniaceae.[1] It is the most abundant forest tree in New Zealand,[2] occurring in lowland, montane, and subalpine forests and shrubland from the central North Island south to Stewart Island.

Description[edit]

Kāmahi bears racemes of small, pink or white flowers from July to January. Fruits are small capsules, 4–6 mm (0.16–0.24 in) long, ripening from October to May.[1] Kāmahi generally occurs with other broadleaf trees, at times acting as a pioneer species which is eventually succeeded by the southern beeches (Nothofagus spp.) or podocarps. It reaches 25 m (82 ft) or more in the Catlins of the south-eastern South Island. In forests to the west of the Southern Alps it codominates with southern rātā (Metrosideros umbellata) and black beech (N. solandri).[3] A closely related tree, tōwai or tawhero (W. silvicola), replaces kāmahi in the North Island north of latitude 38°S.[4]

Uses[edit]

The bark is very high in tannin, about 13%,[5] and was once exported for tanning. The inner bark was used as a laxative by Māori.[6] The wood has a tendency to warp or crack, so it is little used despite the tree's abundance.[2]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b de Lange, P. J. "New Zealand Plant Conservation Network". Retrieved 2013-11-22. 
  2. ^ a b Poole, A. L. "Kamahi - 1966 Encyclopedia of New Zealand". Retrieved 2007-06-19. 
  3. ^ "Land Care Research: Kāmahi-southern rata forest". Retrieved 2013-11-24. 
  4. ^ "Flora of New Zealand". Retrieved 2013-11-24. 
  5. ^ L.f. "Plants for a Future". Retrieved 2013-11-22. 
  6. ^ "Māori Plant Use". Retrieved 2013-11-22. 

Further reading[edit]

  • Metcalf, Laurie, 2002. A Photographic Guide to Trees of New Zealand. Tāmaki-makau-rau: New Holland.
  • Salmon, J.T., 1986. The Native Trees of New Zealand. Te Whanga-nui-a-Tara: Heinneman Reed.