Kānuka

Kunzea ericoides

Coastal evergreen, native to Australia and New Zealand.

Kānuka are found throughout New Zealand, except for the west coast of the South Island, Southland and the Canterbury Plains.

You can make a tea from kānuka – a spoonful of fresh, young leaves per cup. An essential oil from the leaves is used as an insect-repellent and a remedy for intestinal worms.

Kānuka are often confused with mānuka – a similar-looking tree, but a different genus and species. Kānuka is a taller (up to 15m), more spreading tree than mānuka.

Kānuka leaves are soft to the touch Flowers are small, less than 6mm diameter, and are in clusters.

Timber from the tree was used for wagon-wheel spokes, and tool handles, and the inner bark makes a good roof covering.