Hihi volunteer needed

Date posted: 18-Oct-2018

Would you like to volunteer with the Island's hihi team and learn from them how ..

2019 Calendars now available

Date posted: 05-Sep-2018

The new 2019 calendars are now available and this year's is better than ever! Th..

Winners of kokako photo competition

Date posted: 02-Sep-2018

The stunning winning photographs from those submitted to the competition as part..

Kokako Celebration

Date posted: 21-Jul-2018


Kokako Photographic Competition

Date posted: 20-Jul-2018

KĊŒKAKO PHOTOGRAPHIC COMPETITION Celebrating 21 years on Tiritiri Matangi To ce..

New monitoring reports published

Date posted: 19-Jul-2018

Reports on monitoring studies carried out over the past year have now been poste..

2018 Concert coming up soon

Date posted: 15-Feb-2018

Our 2018 concert will feature an afternoon of light classics and jazz courtesy of the Auckland Ph..

Wetapunga talk coming soon

Date posted: 05-Feb-2018

For the Social on 19 March the speaker will be Ben Goodwin of Auckland Zoo, who will talk about t..

Rat caught and now takahe released from pens

Date posted: 28-Jan-2018

Thankfully DOC staff Andre de Graaf and Polly Hall and their assistants have trapped the rat whic..

Your Christmas Shopping for a Song

Date posted: 04-Dec-2017

Aka - The Grand Christmas Shopping Expedition to Tiritiri Matangi Island Shop Dreading..


Botanical name:  Vitex lucens
Maori name:  Puriri
Height:  20 metres

Puriri fruit
A distinctive large tree found in coastal and lowland forest, restricted naturally to the warmer upper half of the North Island.

The spreading branches produce bright shiny green leaves made up of 5 leaflets.  It is a long term canopy tree.

Puriri can have a long flowering and fruiting period, normally commencing in early winter and extending into mid spring.  However many trees seem never to be without flowers or fruit.  These are both valuable for birds as the pink coloured tubular flowers supply nectar and the ripe red berries are a good source of food.

Maori used puriri leaves for medicinal purposes. Infusions from boiled leaves were used to bathe sprains, relieve backache and treat ulcers and sore throats. Puriri timber is very strong and durable and Maori used it for making garden tools and weapons.

Puriri flowersPuriri was logged following European settlement with only the best trees being selected. Puriri timber was used for fence posts, railway sleepers, house piles, bridge building and furniture. Puriri veneers have a walnut like finish.

Vitex is a widespread genus of trees and shrubs with over 250 species.  They belong in the mint family, Lamiaceae, whose members range from many familiar culinary herbs (mint, basil, thyme and rosemary) right up to massive trees such as teak, Tectona grandis, native to South East Asia.

Originally there were only 3 puriri trees on the island but there have been extensive new plantings during the reforestation and the trees are now widespread.

Photography by
Neil Davies © (top right) and by Peter Craw © (bottom left)