New reports on ruru nesting and Island conservation

Date posted: 02-Oct-2017

Two new reports have been added to the website. The first gives details of a summer students..

2018 calendars now available

Date posted: 27-Sep-2017

Our latest calendar, beautifully illustrated with images taken on the Island, is now available fo..

Guided walks for photographers

Date posted: 21-Jun-2017

For a wonderful day of wildlife photography please join us on Tiritiri Matangi Island for a Ph..

Ferry discounts for Supporters

Date posted: 18-May-2017

Tiritiri Matangi Island, the perfect winter's day trip. The birds are at their best, warm up w..

More kiwi for the Island

Date posted: 04-Apr-2017

In 1993 and 1995, sixteen little spotted kiwi were released on Tiritiri Matangi Island. The ma..

2017 Photo Competition

Date posted: 22-Mar-2017

It is that time of year again when we are looking for entries for our photo competition (and phot..

The 2017 concert

Date posted: 05-Feb-2017

This year's concert promises to be another wonderful and unique experience. Click here (/concert-..

Shorebird Film Festival at Devonport

Date posted: 26-Oct-2016

Click here (/miscellaneous documents/DevWaderFilms.jpg) for details of a forthcoming film festival c..

Extra Dawn Chorus Trip

Date posted: 20-Oct-2016

Stop Press: Extra Dawn Chorus trip now scheduled for Thursday 27th October 2016. ..

2016 AGM

Date posted: 06-Sep-2016

The 2016 AGM was held at the Kohia Centre at 7:30 pm on Monday 19th September. Click here (/..

Cabbage Tree

Botanical name:  Cordyline australis
Maori name:  Ti Kouka
Common name:  Cabbage tree
Height:  12-20 metres

Cabbage treesFlowers mainly October / November – a distinctive plant with tall straight trunk with a dense rounded head of long straight flax like leaves.  The clusters of flowers have a strong scent and carry nectar which attracts insects in large numbers. 
The fruit is ripe in late summer.

A very important source of food for many birds but especially the saddlebacks who collect insects from the leaves as well.

Maori used cabbage tree leaves for weaving into kits and other containers.  Cabbage tree roots and the inner pith of young trees were steamed in earth ovens to make a porridge-like food called kauru.  Young heart shoots from the growing tip were eaten raw or cooked in hangi ovens.

The European common name derives from the fact that the taste of boiled young leaves is similar to cooked European cabbage.

The genus Cordyline contains about 15 species distributed from India to Australia, the Pacific and South America. There are 5 species in New Zealand, 4 of which are endemic.

Cabbage tree flowerCabbage tree flowers








Photography by Jan Velvin © (top right and bottom left) and Peter Craw © (bottom right)