Your Christmas Shopping for a Song

Date posted: 04-Dec-2017

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

2018 Photo Comp opens for entries

Date posted: 27-Nov-2017

The 2018 Photo Competition is now open for entries. Click here (/2018-photo-competition-tiritiri-mat..

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..


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)