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..

Tutae Koau

Botanical Name:      Apium prostratum

Maori Name:           Tutae Koau
Common Name:       Native celery

Looking like a miniature form of garden celery, native celery became an important plant for Captain Cook as after a long voyage from the Pacific Islands he would have been wanting to find fresh vegetables for his crew.  There are several entries in the journals of his first voyage which describe the gathering of celery.


Fri 27th Oct 1769 Tolaga Bay


“The other place I landed was at the N. point of the bay, where I got as much Sellery and Scurvy grass as loaded the boat”


and on Sat 28th Oct


“as I intended to sail in the morning some hands were employed picking of Sellery to take to sea with us.  This is found here in great plenty, and I have caused it to be boiled with Portable Soup (blocks of dried extract of meat) and Oatmeal for the people’s breakfast ……….. I look upon it to be very wholesome and a great Antiscorbutick”.


Native celery and scurvy grass, Lepidium oleraceum, share the special honour of being the first plants gathered for food by Europeans in N.Z.


Native celery has a good presence on the foreshore of the beaches on Tiritiri Matangi but is now rarely found on mainland beaches.  Scurvy grass is not present on Tiritiri Matangi.


Native celery belongs in the carrot family (Apiaceae).  Cook’s scurvy grass is a cress.

Photography by Warren Brewer ©