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


Brachyglottis repanda (Rangiora)

Kingdom: Plantae
(unranked): Angiosperms
(unranked): Eudicots
(unranked): Asterids
Order: Asterales
Family: Asteraceae 
Tribe: Senecioneae 
Genus: Brachyglottis 
Species: B. repanda 
Scientific Name: Brachyglottis repanda 
Synonyms:  Cineraria repanda. Senecio forsteri. Senecio georgii.
Common Name: Rangiora, Pukapuka, Wharangi, Bushman's friend, Bushman's Toilet Paper

Rangiora is endemic to New Zealand. It grows to a height of 5 to 7 metres and is common in scrub and forest throughout the North Island and upper South Island. A bushy shrub with large leaves, which are dull green on the upper surface. The leaves are between 5-25 X 5-20 cm broad with lobed margins. The petioles of the leaves have a characteristic groove up to 10 cm long. The undersides of the leaves are white with a soft furry underside. These leaves have been referred to as "Bushman's toilet paper. They also make a practical paper on which letters have been written. It has fragrant creamy flowers that are abundant in spring. The flowers are found on much-branched panicles with each floret being about 5mm in diameter X 12mm long.
The seed are ripe when tiny 'parachutes' are formed after flowering (Oct/Nov), these are then blown from the plant.by the wind. 

Maori used the plant for a number of medicinal uses. The leaves contain a small quantity of an alkaloid poison which has some antiseptic quality and was used for wounds and old ulcerated sores to keep dust and flies away. The bark and tips of the branches on the west side of the bush were cut and the gum which exuded was chewed (but not swallowed) for foul breath. The leaves were bruised, mixed with olive oil and applied to boils as a poultice.

All parts of Brachyglottis repanda is poisonous especially the flowers and sap This plant is also poisonous to stock, causing "staggers".

Flower buds


Flowers September October






 

The ripe seeds that are about to be dispersed by the wind.




A large 22 cm leaf.

The underside of the leaf was used to write messages on and as toilet paper by NZ's early bushmen 

Underside of leaf with sun illuminating the veins


Thanks to Wikipedia for text and information http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0/