Tītoki

Alectryon excelsus

Evergreen, endemic to New Zealand.

Tītoki are found around the coastal fringe of northern New Zealand, and up to an altitude of 600m.

Tītoki were one of the few trees cultivated by Māori. They used to crush the black seeds of the fruits to make a medicine and hair oil. It can also be used as a lamp oil or a fine-grade machine lubricant.

The fruits are a valuable food source for New Zealand native birds – but sadly they are also very palatable to possums, which are introduced pest animals.

The hard wood was used to make axe handles, and spokes for wooden wheels. This lead to it also being known as ‘New Zealand ash.’