World Library  
Flag as Inappropriate
Email this Article


Article Id: WHEBN0019052010
Reproduction Date:

Title: Taraire  
Author: World Heritage Encyclopedia
Language: English
Subject: List of trees native to New Zealand, Flora of New Zealand, Beilschmiedia tawa
Publisher: World Heritage Encyclopedia


Scientific classification
Kingdom: Plantae
(unranked): Angiosperms
(unranked): Magnoliids
Order: Laurales
Family: Lauraceae
Genus: Beilschmiedia
Species: B. tarairi
Binomial name
Beilschmiedia tarairi
A. Cunn.

Laurus tarairi A.Cunn.

Beilschmiedia tarairi, commonly called Taraire,[2] is a tree of the Lauraceae family, endemic to the North Island of New Zealand. It is a common canopy tree in lowland forests north of Auckland, often growing in association with kauri (Agathis australis), pōhutukawa (Metrosideros excelsa), tawapou (Pouteria costata), and with pūriri (Vitex lucens) on basalt rocks and soils. Beilschmiedia is a genus of about 40 mainly tropical trees and shrubs with alternate to opposite leaves.


Taraire only occurs in the North Island north of 38°S latitude. It is most common north of Auckland and Thames at about 37°S. However scattered populations of the tree occur on the west coast between Port Waikato and the Kawhia Harbour, and inland at Pukemokemoke. On the east it occurs in scattered locations to East Cape.


Taraire grows up to 22 m in height, and has a very wide crown. The trunk may be up to 1 m in diameter. The bark is dark brown, and smooth. The branches are stout, and tend to spread widely. Fine reddish brown hairs densely cover the branchlets, young leaves, leaf stems and young flower buds. The dark green leaves, which are generally between 50 and 72 mm long, and 34 to 48 mm wide, are alternate, leathery, and simple, with depressed veins. The leaf stems are 8 to 12 mm long. The inflorescence is an erect panicle up to 100 mm long arising from the leaf axils. Flowering occurs between September and December, with a peak in November. The greenish flowers are 3–5 mm in diameter and often clothed in dense reddish-brown hairs. The fruit is an erect, elliptical to ovoid drupe about 30 by 16mm, dark purple when ripe, and covered in a waxy bloom. It contains one seed. Fruits ripen between March and November, and are a favorite food of the kererū (New Zealand Pigeon).

Taraire is a very distinct species of tropical appearance whose broad, dark-green, leaves with their distinctive depressed veins, and large, erect plum-like dark purple fruits distinguish it from all other indigenous trees and shrubs of New Zealand. Taraire is one of three endemic Beilschmiedia species in New Zealand. The others are the common canopy tree tawa, (B. tawa), which has thin willow-like leaves, and the tawaroa (B. tawaroa) which is similar to tawa but has broader leaves.

Propagation and conservation

Propagation is easy from fresh seed, and better germination results if the flesh surrounding the seed is removed. It is not regarded as threatened, but future dispersal may be limited because the increasingly rare New Zealand pigeon is the only species which can disperse the large seeds of the taraire, which pass through its gut unharmed.


The wood of the taraire is straight-grained but brittle and prone to split, and is not durable when exposed to the elements. It has been used for flooring, light carts, furniture, picture frames, ship's blocks, and firewood.


  • W. Mary McEwen, 1978.
  • A. E. Wright, 1984.
This article was sourced from Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License; additional terms may apply. World Heritage Encyclopedia content is assembled from numerous content providers, Open Access Publishing, and in compliance with The Fair Access to Science and Technology Research Act (FASTR), Wikimedia Foundation, Inc., Public Library of Science, The Encyclopedia of Life, Open Book Publishers (OBP), PubMed, U.S. National Library of Medicine, National Center for Biotechnology Information, U.S. National Library of Medicine, National Institutes of Health (NIH), U.S. Department of Health & Human Services, and, which sources content from all federal, state, local, tribal, and territorial government publication portals (.gov, .mil, .edu). Funding for and content contributors is made possible from the U.S. Congress, E-Government Act of 2002.
Crowd sourced content that is contributed to World Heritage Encyclopedia is peer reviewed and edited by our editorial staff to ensure quality scholarly research articles.
By using this site, you agree to the Terms of Use and Privacy Policy. World Heritage Encyclopedia™ is a registered trademark of the World Public Library Association, a non-profit organization.

Copyright © World Library Foundation. All rights reserved. eBooks from Project Gutenberg are sponsored by the World Library Foundation,
a 501c(4) Member's Support Non-Profit Organization, and is NOT affiliated with any governmental agency or department.