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Tī Kōuka

 Kōuka’s iconic shape and long life made them ideal for marking trails, boundaries and special places.

Tī Kōuka
Cordyline australis
Can grow as high as
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More about this tree

  •  Kōuka is one of the most widely cultivated trees in New Zealand.
  • They are a good colonising species as they grow happily on bare ground or exposed places. Their strong root system helps stop soil erosion on steep slopes and because they tolerate wet soil, they are a useful species for planting along stream banks.
  • The large clusters of perfumed flowers appear in spring and early summer, and some say that early and heavy flowering signifies a hot summer to come.
  • The bark is thick and tough like cork, and is so fire-resistant that early European settlers used it to make chimneys for their huts. Conveniently, their leaves make a fine kindling too!
  •  Kōuka was used by Māori as a source of food, fibre and medicine. The root, stem and top are all edible and a good source of starch and sugar. The fibre is separated by long cooking or by breaking up before cooking. 
  • The leaves were woven into baskets, sandals, rope, rain capes and other items and were also made into tea to cure diarrhoea and dysentery.