Story: Plant extracts

Kauri gum

Kauri gum

Kauri gum oozes from kauri trees. It builds up in and around the tree over hundreds of years. The ground where the tree falls becomes a litter of wood and gum, which is often gradually buried by soil or drowned in swamps. Large amounts were dug from swamps in the far north from the 1860s till the 1940s. Blended with linseed oil, the gum was used to make varnish and floor coverings. Kauri gum was once the greatest economic earner of any New Zealand plant extract.

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How to cite this page:

Nigel Perry, 'Plant extracts - Toxic and commercial compounds', Te Ara - the Encyclopedia of New Zealand, (accessed 2 December 2021)

Story by Nigel Perry, published 24 Sep 2007