top of page

Whau is a vigorous semi-deciduous vine endemic to Aotearoa. It forms a dense mound, growing up to 2 meters wide and 5 meters high or more. The leaves are small, rounded, and bright green, produced on long wiry stems. Its cream-colored flowers are followed by black seeds held in a fleshy cup.

Whau seeds can lie on the ground surface for many years. They can be stimulated into growth by fire, leading to rapid establishment once germinated.

Whau plays a crucial role in coastal ecosystems. It suppresses invasive weeds and provides shelter for other plantings. Although it’s rather short-lived (up to 15 years), once established, it often self-sows.

The wood of whau is extremely light, weighing half that of cork. Māori used it as fishing floats due to its buoyancy.

Whau | Entelea arborescens

    bottom of page