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Houhere / Lacebark

Did you notice the delicate white flowers in the bush in April? It is the Houhere, (Lacebark) flowering.

One of New Zealand’s fastest growing trees, it measures about six metres high. It lives on average for 10 years, but in ideal conditions can reach nine metres and live up to 50 years. This beautiful tree has scented white flowers that appear in autumn. Planting it in your garden will attract kereru which love the foliage, particularly the outermost, succulent new leaves. The species recommended for the Waitakere Ranges is Hoheria populnea, It is best planted in moist fertile soil. The young plants are frost tender and need to be protected.

Houhere gets its English name from the fibrous inner bark. Tiny growths of the outer layer of wood penetrate this fibrous layer, giving it a lacy appearance that when dried, comes away from the bark and wood in several fine layers which can be used for fine decorative weaving.

Lacebark also has medicinal uses, many of which are explained on the The Herb Federation of New Zealand’s website,


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