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.