Dysoxylum spectabile (Kohekohe)
Scientific name: Dysoxylum spectabile
Common Name :Kohekohe, New Zealand mahogany
Kohekohe is a medium-sized tree native to New Zealand. It is found in lowland and coastal forests throughout most of North Island and also occurs in the Marlborough Sounds in the north of the South Island. Mature trees grow up to 15m in height with a trunk up to a metre in diameter. Kohekohe forest used to be common in damp coastal and lowland areas in the North Island, but these forests have mostly disappeared because the land was used for settlement or they were browsed by possums. A fairly close relative of true mahogany (Swietenia), it is also called New Zealand Mahogany.
Kohekohe produces panicles of scented white flowers directly from the trunk or branches. Kohekohe is notable for having characteristics normally associated with trees growing in the tropics. This strange habit is called cauliflory. The pinnate leaves are large and glossy. Kohekohe flowers are an important and favoured source of floral nectar for Tui and Bellbird. Maori boiled the bark in water and drank it as a tonic. The wood was used for building canoes but the wood is soft and not as durable as hardwoods and tends to rot quickly. It is valued for carving. Kohekohe was probably the dominant vegetation cover on Kapiti Island before it was cleared in the early 1800s for cultivation and farming. The kohekohe forest on Kapiti is recovering after possums were eradicated in 1986.
More information at New Zealand Plant Conservation Network
Position Lat 39 3'35.926 S Long 174 5'42.538" E Datum WGS 84
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