Title: Early New Zealand Botanical Art

Author: F. Bruce Sampson

Publication details: Reed Methuen, 1985, Auckland

Digital publication kindly authorised by: F. Bruce Sampson

Part of: New Zealand Texts Collection

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Early New Zealand Botanical Art


page 17

Plate 2 Elaeocarpus dentatus (hinau)

This specimen was collected in November 1769 at Mercury Bay on the Coromandel Peninsula. The hinau grows in forests throughout the North Island and in lowland forests in all but the southernmost regions of the South Island. Trees can grow up to twenty metres high, and the leaves are shorter and thicker and often less conspicuously toothed on adult trees than on juvenile ones. There are pits, known as domatia, on the underside of each leaf, situated where a lateral vein meets the midrib. Domatia occur on the leaves of a number of other New Zealand plants, but their function is unknown. The creamy-white, bell-like flowers have petals with frilly margins. Plum-like purplish fruits each contain a single seed.

Hinau is a member of the family Elaeocarpaceae, which is related to the Tiliaceae, to which the whau (Plate 1) belongs. There are about ninety species of Elaeocarpus, most in tropical regions. A second New Zealand species, the pokaka, Elaeocarpus hookerianus, occurs in the North, South and Stewart Islands.

Courtesy of the Trustees of the British Museum (Natural History)

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Plate 2 Elaeocarpus dentatus (J. R. et G. Forst.) Vahl. (hinau) Sydney Parkinson

Plate 2 Elaeocarpus dentatus (J. R. et G. Forst.) Vahl. (hinau) Sydney Parkinson