The raukawa plant is symbolic of love. The leaves were infused into the oil of the hīnau tree to make a perfume, worn by Māhinaarangi, a famous East Coast ancestor. It was this scent which allowed her beloved Tūrongo of Waikato to identify her. They were married and named their first child Raukawa after this scent. He is the founding ancestor of the Ngāti Raukawa tribe.
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