Pouteria costata syn. Planchonella costata Tawapou
Tawapou forms a tree reaching 8–15 m or more, with a trunk to 1 m in diameter and rough, brownish-grey bark. The leathery, glossy green leaves, 5–10 cm long by 5 cm wide, have down-curved margins and parallel veins (Costa) diverging from the midrib. Small, greenish flowers are followed by an attractive bright red berry, 2.5–4 cm long, usually containing two or three hard, curved seeds.
Tawapou is found on coastal headlands from North Cape to Tolaga Bay. After pohutukawa, it is arguably New Zealand’s most beautiful coastal tree with its particularly lustrous leaves and bright red fruit. It grows in association with pohutukawa, karaka and taraire.
Tawapou fruits and seeds