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The mere sight of greenery, even if it’s only an image will calm your nervous system, says neurologist, Richard E. Cytowic, and recent studies appear to agree, citing better concentration and a lowering of blood pressure. Our lovely native New Zealand Tawhero (Weinmannia silvicola) is a kindly tree on which briefly to re-focus.

In fact Tawhero was used by early Maori to treat wounds and skin diseases. They scraped the bark from the sun-facing side of the tree, then stripped the clean interior bark to pulp and boil it before straining the decoction. It was used to bathe wounds before bandaging them for reputedly scar-less healing. It was also taken internally as a purgative, and mixed with oils and applied warm, to burns. 

An erect evergreen forest specimen tree, Tawhero grows to four metres height within ten years, to a maximum height of fifteen metres, by which stage its trunk can be a metre in diameter. Preferring a well-drained, cool root run, it tolerates most soils, grows well in the open, and enjoys shade. It will sustain mild to moderate frost. A broad-leafed tree, Tawhero comes into profuse flower from September to December. The long, splendid pink-white flower racemes droop from branch ends and a full tree of them is absolutely striking. 

Bellbrids, Tui, Silvereyes, butterflies, and bees will all be quickly along to sup from the floral nectar in summer.

                
  $95 each         $700 each      $1500 each

Tawhero is relatively common from Hamilton, north. Further south, Weinmannia Silvicola graduates without any obvious line of change, to Kamahi, and between the two forms transitional specimens are common. The leaves of young Kamahi are generally simple, but may also be trifoliate, or occasionally, constituted of five leaflets, while the Silvicola exhibits up to nineteen leaflets. Mature Kamahi are usually simple-leaved while mature Tawhero are trifoliate.

  • Tawhero (Weinmannia silvicola) was named after Johann Wilhelm Weinmann. Weinmann was an early 17th century German botanist and apothecary-herbalist who produced the florilegium, Phytanthoza iconographia.
  • Tawhero bark contains 10-13% tannins and was used extensively by Europeans in Auckland tanneries, and for dyeing. Unfortunately, the resource was minimised by poor harvesting techniques which saw the bark stripped from standing trees only to the height able to be reached from the ground, while the rest of the tree was left untouched. The supply was thus soon exhausted.
  • Tawhero timber is light brown with a pronounced reddish tendency. It is densely-grained, strong, and yielding. In earlier years this native hardwood was used for ornamental work such as inlays, and in cabinetmaking.  It has also been used as wharf piling, for housing piles, fence posts, and railway sleepers.
  • Useful in xeriscaping projects owing to its drought tolerance
  • Propagation is most easily accomplished from seed
  • Wait for seed-heads to dry on the plant before harvesting them and gathering seeds
  • Sow seed straight into prepared soil

Related species in takana native trees stock include:

Kamahi

(Weinmannia racemosa)

Kamahi is a hardy spreading forest tree which grows to a height of two metres within ten years, to a maximum of twenty-five metres. It is an important forest tree with reddish tones in the foliage. Kamahi’s long flower racemes attract bees and make excellent honey. Its natural environment is from the Waikato, south. Yields quality timber.


 $600 each

102 Omaha Flats Road, Matakana
0800TAKANA | 
don@takana.co.nz

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Takana Native Tree Nursery
51 Sylvan Avenue
Northcote
Auckland, Auckland -
New Zealand

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