More plaudits for Tiritiri Matangi

Date posted: 15-Jul-2019

Recognition of the wonderful experience visitors have when visiting the Island h..

Results of the 2019 Photo Competition

Date posted: 15-Jul-2019

The results of this year's competition have now been decided. Click here (/2019-photo-co..

Lighthouse Open Day

Date posted: 30-Apr-2019

Our historic lighthouse, signal station and diaphonic foghorn will all be on dis..

We need a new Treasurer

Date posted: 08-Apr-2019

The Supporters need a new treasurer to take over in September when Kevin Vaughan..

2019 Concert

Date posted: 05-Feb-2019

OrigiNZ, the tartan taonga are returning for the 2019 concert. Click..

Tiri's three unique foghorns

Date posted: 01-Feb-2019

Our next social event will take place on Monday 18th March when Carl Hayson and ..

Young Conservation Superstars win awards!

Date posted: 27-Jan-2019

Gabriel Barbosa and teacher Kate Asher, a team leader who co..

Entries for the 2019 photo competition

Date posted: 19-Jan-2019

We are now taking entries for the 2019 photographic competition. You can enter u..

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..

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 ©