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..

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 ©