Story: Poisonous plants and fungi

Karaka foliage and berries

Karaka foliage and berries

Karaka trees grow in coastal and lowland forest. In summer they bear heavy loads of orange berries. Within each berry is a seed containing a lethal toxin known as karakin. Māori discovered that they could make karaka berries safe for eating by first baking them, and then soaking them in water.

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Private collection
Photograph by Jeremy Rolfe

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How to cite this page:

Maggy Wassilieff, 'Poisonous plants and fungi - Poisonous plants used for food', Te Ara - the Encyclopedia of New Zealand, http://www.TeAra.govt.nz/en/photograph/9776/karaka-foliage-and-berries (accessed 5 August 2021)

Story by Maggy Wassilieff, published 24 Sep 2007