Scientific name: Hedycarya arborea
Maori name: Porokaiwhiri
Other names: Porokaiwhiria, Pōporokaiwhiri (Taylor 1870), Pōporokaiwhiria, Poroporokaiwhiria, Kaiwhiri, Kaiwhiria, Kawiria
- native to the Wellington Region
Suits: damp, shade, partial shade, sunny, shelter, coastal forest garden, small garden or balcony, wetlands and water features
An attractive small tree with a dark brown or grey and smooth bark, growing between 5 to 12 meter with dark green thick and leathery leaves with shallowly serrated edge and a red midridge. The leaves can be both dark or lime green, depending on growing situation. The flowers are insignificant but fragrant, disc shaped with male and female arising on seperate trees and trees of both sexes are needed for the berries to be produced. The bright orange berries grows in clusters and can almost look like the spokes of a wheel and ripens from November to May. Easily grown from fresh seed, but frost tender when young. Pigeonwood prefers a sheltered site with plenty of moisture and good soil in semi-shade. It is however very shade tolerant and can be found even i dark gullies, where it is often buttressed In the Wellington conifer broadleaf forest its a common understorey species. A quick growing tree and once established it will tolerate a reasonable amount of cold too.
The bright orange berries fruit is avidly sought after by kereru (Hemiphaga novaezelandiae) hence the name and its a great 'famine food' when nothing else is available.
Provides for birds