T.E.R:R.A.I.N - Taranaki Educational Resource: Research, Analysis and Information Network

Beilschmiedia tarairi (NZ taraire)

Kingdom: Plantae
(unranked): Angiosperms
(Unranked): Magnoliids
Order: Laurales
Family: Lauraceae
Genus: Beilschmiedia
Species: B. tarairi
Binomial name: Beilschmiedia tarairi
Common name: NZ taraire

Beilschmiedia tarairi is a native tree that grows up to 22 m in height, and has a very wide crown. It is a common canopy tree in lowland forests and only occurs in the North Island north of 38°S latitude. However scattered populations of the tree occur on the west coast between Port Waikato and the Kawhia Harbour, and inland in the Waikato basin. On the east it occurs in scattered locations to East Cape.

B. tarairi trunk may be up to 1 m in diameter with bark that is dark brown, and smooth. The branches are stout, and tend to spread widely. It has broad, dark-green, bullate leaves (50 and 72 mm long, and 34 to 48 mm wide) with a distinctive glaucous underside. They are alternate, leathery, and simple, with depressed veins. They are covered in reddish-brown hairs when young, but lose most of this as they mature. Older leaves are shiny dark green above and dull blue-green below, with red-brown hairs along the underside veins.

The greenish flowers appear September and December and are 3–5 mm in diameter and often clothed in dense reddish-brown hairs. The olive-shaped dark purple fruits are held upright near the tips of its branches. They ripen between March and November, and are a favorite food of the New Zealand Pigeon.

The thick branches of an adult tree

A young N.Z. Taraire

The underside of a leaf