With its jointed stems and heart-shaped leaves riddled with caterpillar holes, kawakawa (Macropiper excelsum) is one of the easiest forest trees to identify. It produces finger-sized spikes of flowers that ripen to a deep orange in summer. Sometimes mourners at Māori funerals wear wreaths of leafy kawakawa twigs (pare kawakawa) around their heads.
Te whakamahi i tēnei tūemi
Te Ara - The Encyclopedia of New Zealand
Photograph by Alastair McLean
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