Story: Shrubs and small trees of the forest



With its jointed stems and heart-shaped leaves riddled with caterpillar holes, kawakawa (Macropiper excelsum) is one of the easiest forest trees to identify. It produces finger-sized spikes of flowers that ripen to a deep orange in summer. Sometimes mourners at Māori funerals wear wreaths of leafy kawakawa twigs (pare kawakawa) around their heads.

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How to cite this page:

Joanna Orwin, 'Shrubs and small trees of the forest - Pepper trees: horopito and kawakawa', Te Ara - the Encyclopedia of New Zealand, (accessed 21 February 2024)

Story by Joanna Orwin, published 24 Sep 2007, updated 1 Jul 2015