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:  Alectryon excelsus
Maori name:  Titoki
Common name:  New Zealand Ash
Height:  10 metres

TitokiA handsome shiny-leaved tree found in coastal and lowland forest in the North Island and to the middle of the South Island.

Flowering is in spring and the fruit takes up to a year to mature, forming a furry woody capsule.  When ripe the capsule splits open revealing a shiny black seed partly enclosed by a convoluted bright red aril (fleshy covering) which resembles a cock’s comb.  Alectryon means rooster in Greek.  This provides food for native pigeons and other birds.

Maori extracted an oil from pounded titoki seeds. This was often scented with crushed leaves of manuka or kawakawa and applied to the body or used to gloss the hair.


Titoki belongs in the soap berry family (Sapindaceae) which includes the fruit tree lychee (Litchi chinensis) from Southern China.

Photography by Neil Davies (leaves, right) © and Warren Brewer © (flowers below left, fruit below right).