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


Hoheria populnea (Lacebark, Houhere)

Kingdom: Plantae
(unranked): Angiosperms
(unranked): Eudicots
(unranked): Rosids
Order: Malvales
Family: Malvaceae
Genus: Hoheria
Species: H. populnea, 
Scientific Names: Hoheria populnea
Synonyms: Hoheria sinclairii
Common names: Houhere, Lacebark, Ribbonwood,  Houhi.

Hoheria populnea is a very fast growing floriferous (bearing flowers) branched native shrub or small tree, growing to up to 11m in height and it is a colonising plant in open areas.
It is found naturally in lowland forests found in the north and west of North Island, Three Kings Is, Great Barrier Is, and on the Kermadec Is but is now planted in gardens and parks throughout New Zealand.
It has evergreen oval pointed leaves with serrated edges up to 12 cm in length.
It develops abundant white scented flowers in late summer / autumn.
These flowers are 2cm across white and scented and are borne in cymose clusters of 5-10 flowers in late summer and autumn. The flowers have 5, or rarely 6, styles. The calyx is campanulate (shaped like a bell), with triangularly toothed sepals. Each flower gives rise to 5, or rarely 6, seed pods, which are broadly winged.

The bark was used by the early Maori, and also the early European settlers, as a source of fibre, particularly for use as cordage. The timber was used for furniture making.





The veined underside of a leaf.