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


Pittosporum tenuifolium (Kohuhu)

Kingdom: Plantae 
(unranked): Angiosperms
(unranked): Eudicots
(unranked): Asterids 
Order: Apiales 
Family: Pittosporaceae 
Genus: Pittosporum 
Species: P. tenuifolium 
Binomial name: Pittosporum tenuifolium
Common name: Kohuhu , Kohukohu, Black Matipo (though it is not really a matipo tree).

Pittosporum tenuifolium is a small evergreen tree with wavy silvery green, glossy leaves (up to 10 meters) native to New Zealand. The flowers generally go unnoticed because of their colour, a very dark reddish-purple, and are scented only at night. It is found growing wild in coastal and lower mountain forest areas up to an altitude of 900m. It hybridises readily, resulting in plants with very variable foliage. Provides food for native birds. Nectar during October-January. Fruit/seeds during February-June. It is attractive to bees.

Photographed on the Te Henui Walkway
 

The leaves vary in shape and size throughout New Zealand. The leaves can be less than 1cm in diameter to leaves that are 7cm long. 

The dark branchlets of Pittosporum tenuifolium

Bisexual or male flowers.


 
Female flower.with a white ovary inside


 

Empty 12mm diameter nut cases.