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Rewarewa wood is instantly recognizable due to its pale to dark reddish color and attractive flecked appearance. You might have seen it in rulers made of inlaid native timber in tourist shops.
Interestingly, it belongs to the Protea family, which is rare in Aotearoa but common in Australia and South Africa.

During spring, Rewarewa flowers produce abundant nectar that is irresistible to tui and bellbirds.
These birds flock to Rewarewa blooms, creating a delightful scene in the forest. The nectar also yields an excellent honey.

Māori used to collect Rewarewa nectar by picking the flowers in late spring and tapping them onto the inside of a gourd vessel. The inner bark was bandaged over wounds to stop bleeding and speed up healing. Pioneer Europeans recognized the decorative properties of Rewarewa wood and used it in inlay and marquetry work.

Rewarewa occurs throughout the North Island and only in the Marlborough Sounds in the South Island. It is often associated with past burning and clearing, forming dense stands. The tree can grow up to 30 meters tall with a 1-meter diameter trunk.

Rewarewa | Knightia excelsa

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