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Macropiper excelsum kawakawa

April 19th 2004

Macropiper excelsum Kawakawa.

Leaves 5-12 cm. long.  Aromatic

North island and south to Banks Peninsula

An attractive leaf shape and form of growth make this plant a desirable plant for all ornamental gardens. It is claimed to have medicinal qualities. The leaf, if dried and burnt is an insect repellent. The seed is found on soft orange spikes that are a favoured food of many birds in late summer. The seed of Kawakawa is very small and is embedded on this soft and orange spike. Remove these spikes and mash them up or soak overnight in water. The orange mash can be easily separated from the heavier black seeds by floating. Sow seeds on top of the seed raising media. The seeds will go through a period of after ripening and may begin to germinate 2 or 3 months after sowing.

If you wish to learn more about native plants I suggest one of these natural history books from fishpond

Life-size Guide to New Zealand Native Ferns: Featuring the Caterpillars Which Feed on ThemA Field Guide to the Native Edible Plants of New ZealandGardener's Encyclopaedia of NZ Native PlantsTrees and Shrubs of New ZealandThe Reed Field Guide to New Zealand Native Trees



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