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

Raukaua edgerleyi (Pseudopanax Raukaua)

Kingdom: Plantae
(Unranked): Angiosperms
(Unranked): Eudicots
(Unranked): Asterids
Order: Apiales
Family: Araliaceae
Subfamily: Aralioideae
Genus: Raukaua
Species: R. edgerleyi
Botanical name: Raukaua edgerleyi
Synonym: Pseudopanax Raukaua edgerleyi
Common Name: Raukawa

Raukaua edgerleyi is a (10 m) native tree with ascending branchlets and a trunk (40cm diameter) with pimply cream to pale grey rough bark. 
Raukaua edgerleyi is scattered and infrequent in the North Island from Kaitaia southwards and also in the South and Stewart Islands. Its habitat is lowland to montane forests, often as epiphytes on tree ferns and grows from near sea level to 900 m. a. s. l. 
The adult aromatic shiny green leaves (7-15cm x 3-5cm) are long-oval and are not serrated but have wavy margins. The juvenile leaves are deeply incised on the margins and have pale green to reddish brown undersides. 
Small 3-4mm star-shaped greenish flowers appear during September to December. Round fruit 3-4cm in diameter develop from October to March but some fruit may be present throughout the year.

The leaves of which were used by the Maori to produce a scented oil which has a fresh green aroma. In an early publication describing the flora of New Zealand, Kirk (1889) wrote “The Raukawa is prized by the Natives on account of its perfume: Mr Colenso states that they rub their limbs and bodies with the fresh leaves and I have been informed that the leaves are also used for scenting oil. It seems probable that the perfume might be extracted and form a profitable article of commerce.”

Adult tree photographed at Otari Native Botanic Garden and Wilton's Bush Reserve. Wellington.

Adult leaves

An adult leaf.

Underside of an adult leaf.

A photograph of a young plant showing the juvenile leaves that are deeply incised on the margins.

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