Large forest tree most common to the northern half of North island.
Beilschmedia taraire of the Lauraceae family is a common canopy tree in the North Island. The Taraire has a slender straight trunk growing up to 20 metres. Its fine bold foliage has a rusty appearance when young and when mature it turns dark green. As well as being an excellent shade tree, the Taraire produces attractive small flowers in summer and large bluish oval fruit in autumn which attracts the native New Zealand kererū. It prefers a well drained rich soil, tolerating some dryness once tree is established.
The wood of the Taraire tree is close grained, light and easily worked, but not very durable. The large plum-like fruits were used as a food by the Māori, kernels were steamed in a hangi for two days before eating.
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