Story: Gardens

Karaka grove, Oahanga pā

Karaka grove, Oahanga pā

This 1863 sketch of a Māori settlement, Oahanga , near Castlepoint on the Wairarapa coast, shows a grove of karaka trees behind one of the houses. In summer and autumn karaka trees bear orange fruit, which are poisonous if raw, but safe to eat when cooked. They were an important food for Māori, and were planted in the southern half of the North Island, coastal areas of the northern South Island, and on the Chatham Islands – beyond karaka’s natural distribution (considered to be the northern North Island).

Using this item

Alexander Turnbull Library
Reference: E-173-044
Pencil and ink drawing by James Coutts Crawford

Permission of the Alexander Turnbull Library, National Library of New Zealand, Te Puna Mātauranga o Aotearoa, must be obtained before any re-use of this image.

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How to cite this page:

Maggy Wassilieff, 'Gardens - Māori gardens', Te Ara - the Encyclopedia of New Zealand, (accessed 17 January 2022)

Story by Maggy Wassilieff, published 24 Nov 2008