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Useful Temperate Plants

Beilschmiedia tawa

(A.Cunn.) Kirk

Lauraceae

+ Synonyms

Laurus tawa A.Cunn.

Common Name: Tawa

Beilschmiedia tawa
Cultivated trees in California Park, Upper Hutt, New Zealand
Photograph by: Rudolph89
Creative Commons License
Beilschmiedia tawa Beilschmiedia tawa Beilschmiedia tawa Beilschmiedia tawa Beilschmiedia tawa

General Information

Beilschmiedia tawa is an evergreen tree with an open irregular crown when growing in the forest but compact and rounded on plants in the open; it can grow 18 - 30 metres or more tall. The usually straight, cylindrical bole can be 45 - 100cm in diameter and free of branches for up to 9 metres[
316
Title
Tropical Timbers of the World. Ag. Handbook No. 607.
Publication
 
Author
Chudnoff. Martin.
Publisher
USDA Forest Service. Wisconsin.
Year
1984
ISBN
 
Description
Terse details on the properties of the wood of almost 400 species of trees from the Tropics.
,
1099
Title
Beilschmiedia tawa (A. Cunn.) Benth. et Hook. F. ex Kirk (Lauraceae) Tawa
Publication
New Zealand Journal of Botany, 1982, Vol. 20 : 37-54
Author
Barbara Knowles & A.E. Beveridge
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
An in-depth treatment of the plant, its ecology and uses.
].
The tree has been a major source of timber in New Zealand, both for home use and for export. Traditionally, the tree has provided food, medicine and materials for the indiginous peoples.

Known Hazards

None known

Botanical References

1099
Title
Beilschmiedia tawa (A. Cunn.) Benth. et Hook. F. ex Kirk (Lauraceae) Tawa
Publication
New Zealand Journal of Botany, 1982, Vol. 20 : 37-54
Author
Barbara Knowles & A.E. Beveridge
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
An in-depth treatment of the plant, its ecology and uses.

Range

New Zealand.

Habitat

Shady moist forests in lowland and lower montane areas on North and South Islands, south to 42° S[
44
Title
Flora of New Zealand.
Publication
 
Author
Allan. H. H.
Website
http://floraseries.landcareresearch.co.nz/pages/Book.aspx?fileName=Flora%201.xml
Publisher
Government Printer, Wellington.
Year
1961
ISBN
-
Description
The standard work, in 5 volumes though only the first two are of interest to the plant project. Very good on habitats. There is also an on-line version.
].

Properties

Edibility Rating *  *
Medicinal Rating *  *
Other Uses Rating *  *  *
HabitEvergreen Tree
Height20.00 m
PollinatorsWind, Insects
Cultivation StatusWild

Cultivation Details

Beilschmiedia tawa occurs naturally over a wide climatic range in New Zealand, but is patently sensitive to exposure, drought, snow fall, and severe frost. Mature plants can withstand short-lived temperatures down to about . 9°C, but their young growth is severely to fatally damaged by out-of-season frosts[
1099
Title
Beilschmiedia tawa (A. Cunn.) Benth. et Hook. F. ex Kirk (Lauraceae) Tawa
Publication
New Zealand Journal of Botany, 1982, Vol. 20 : 37-54
Author
Barbara Knowles & A.E. Beveridge
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
An in-depth treatment of the plant, its ecology and uses.
]. Seedlings are particularly susceptible to damage by frost, wind, drought, and sun, and do not establish readily in large canopy gaps[
1099
Title
Beilschmiedia tawa (A. Cunn.) Benth. et Hook. F. ex Kirk (Lauraceae) Tawa
Publication
New Zealand Journal of Botany, 1982, Vol. 20 : 37-54
Author
Barbara Knowles & A.E. Beveridge
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
An in-depth treatment of the plant, its ecology and uses.
].
Plants tolerate a very wide range of soils but do not thrive under poor drainage, nor on dry, rocky soils[
1099
Title
Beilschmiedia tawa (A. Cunn.) Benth. et Hook. F. ex Kirk (Lauraceae) Tawa
Publication
New Zealand Journal of Botany, 1982, Vol. 20 : 37-54
Author
Barbara Knowles & A.E. Beveridge
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
An in-depth treatment of the plant, its ecology and uses.
].
Trees, even when fairly old, can be coppiced[
1099
Title
Beilschmiedia tawa (A. Cunn.) Benth. et Hook. F. ex Kirk (Lauraceae) Tawa
Publication
New Zealand Journal of Botany, 1982, Vol. 20 : 37-54
Author
Barbara Knowles & A.E. Beveridge
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
An in-depth treatment of the plant, its ecology and uses.
].
Under moist conditions the fast growing taproot penetrates litter and humus layers and quickly reaches the mineral soil; such seedlings often survive for a long period under the dense shade of high forest.The plant can develop a large root system under these conditions, even though the shoots may die back several times. The root stock may thus become a perennating organ, assisting survival of the plant, and enabling it to produce further shoots when light becomes more favourable[
1099
Title
Beilschmiedia tawa (A. Cunn.) Benth. et Hook. F. ex Kirk (Lauraceae) Tawa
Publication
New Zealand Journal of Botany, 1982, Vol. 20 : 37-54
Author
Barbara Knowles & A.E. Beveridge
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
An in-depth treatment of the plant, its ecology and uses.
].
Under a dense canopy seedlings may persist for many years with little or no gain in height; in one trial plot under such conditions small seedlings which survived for 17 years gained only 5- 10cm in height[
1099
Title
Beilschmiedia tawa (A. Cunn.) Benth. et Hook. F. ex Kirk (Lauraceae) Tawa
Publication
New Zealand Journal of Botany, 1982, Vol. 20 : 37-54
Author
Barbara Knowles & A.E. Beveridge
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
An in-depth treatment of the plant, its ecology and uses.
].
In small canopy gaps annual height growth of seedlings averages approx. 15cm but coppice shoots from damaged or cut stems in the same situations may grow up to 50cm in 1 year[
1099
Title
Beilschmiedia tawa (A. Cunn.) Benth. et Hook. F. ex Kirk (Lauraceae) Tawa
Publication
New Zealand Journal of Botany, 1982, Vol. 20 : 37-54
Author
Barbara Knowles & A.E. Beveridge
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
An in-depth treatment of the plant, its ecology and uses.
].
The largest trees probably have a life span of some 400 years; but as the species is more susceptible to heart-rot, and large diameters are not common, the average life span is likely to be 200 - 300 years for trees that have not been suppressed for long periods when small[
1099
Title
Beilschmiedia tawa (A. Cunn.) Benth. et Hook. F. ex Kirk (Lauraceae) Tawa
Publication
New Zealand Journal of Botany, 1982, Vol. 20 : 37-54
Author
Barbara Knowles & A.E. Beveridge
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
An in-depth treatment of the plant, its ecology and uses.
].

Edible Uses

Fruit - raw or cooked[
46
Title
Dictionary of Economic Plants.
Publication
 
Author
Uphof. J. C. Th.
Publisher
Weinheim
Year
1959
ISBN
-
Description
An excellent and very comprehensive guide but it only gives very short descriptions of the uses without any details of how to utilize the plants. Not for the casual reader.
,
61
Title
A Dictionary of Plants Used by Man.
Publication
 
Author
Usher. G.
Publisher
Constable
Year
1974
ISBN
0094579202
Description
Forget the sexist title, this is one of the best books on the subject. Lists a very extensive range of useful plants from around the world with very brief details of the uses. Not for the casual reader.
,
128
Title
Plants of New Zealand.
Publication
 
Author
Laing. and Blackwell.
Publisher
Whitcombe and Tombs Ltd
Year
1907
ISBN
-
Description
An old flora of New Zealand in a readable style. Some details of plant uses.
,
153
Title
Economic Native Plants of New Zealand.
Publication
 
Author
Brooker. S. G., Cambie. R. C. and Cooper. R. C.
Publisher
Oxford University Press
Year
1991
ISBN
0-19-558229-2
Description
An interesting and readable book on the useful plants of New Zealand.
,
292
Title
People Plants Database
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://peopleplants.landcareresearch.co.nz/WebForms/default.aspx
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
An online database of New Zealand plants and their Maori names and uses. An excellent information source.
]. A sweet taste when it is fully ripe[
173
Title
Native Edible Plants of New Zealand.
Publication
 
Author
Crowe. A.
Publisher
Hodder and Stoughton
Year
1990
ISBN
0-340-508302
Description
A very well written and illustrated book based on the authors own experiments with living on a native diet.
]. The fruit of this tree has somewhat the appearance of a Wine sour plum, it is very sweet, with a slight flavour of turpentine[
292
Title
People Plants Database
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://peopleplants.landcareresearch.co.nz/WebForms/default.aspx
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
An online database of New Zealand plants and their Maori names and uses. An excellent information source.
]. It can cause flatulence[
292
Title
People Plants Database
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://peopleplants.landcareresearch.co.nz/WebForms/default.aspx
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
An online database of New Zealand plants and their Maori names and uses. An excellent information source.
]. The fruit is up to 40mm long and 15mm wide[
1099
Title
Beilschmiedia tawa (A. Cunn.) Benth. et Hook. F. ex Kirk (Lauraceae) Tawa
Publication
New Zealand Journal of Botany, 1982, Vol. 20 : 37-54
Author
Barbara Knowles & A.E. Beveridge
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
An in-depth treatment of the plant, its ecology and uses.
].

Seed - cooked[
153
Title
Economic Native Plants of New Zealand.
Publication
 
Author
Brooker. S. G., Cambie. R. C. and Cooper. R. C.
Publisher
Oxford University Press
Year
1991
ISBN
0-19-558229-2
Description
An interesting and readable book on the useful plants of New Zealand.
]. It is usually steamed and then dried, when it will store in good condition for several years[
173
Title
Native Edible Plants of New Zealand.
Publication
 
Author
Crowe. A.
Publisher
Hodder and Stoughton
Year
1990
ISBN
0-340-508302
Description
A very well written and illustrated book based on the authors own experiments with living on a native diet.
,
292
Title
People Plants Database
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://peopleplants.landcareresearch.co.nz/WebForms/default.aspx
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
An online database of New Zealand plants and their Maori names and uses. An excellent information source.
].

The bark when infused, furnishes the traveller with a wholesome as well as a grateful beverage which does not require the addition of sugar[
292
Title
People Plants Database
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://peopleplants.landcareresearch.co.nz/WebForms/default.aspx
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
An online database of New Zealand plants and their Maori names and uses. An excellent information source.
].

Medicinal

The bark is used as a treatment for stomach-aches and colds[
292
Title
People Plants Database
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://peopleplants.landcareresearch.co.nz/WebForms/default.aspx
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
An online database of New Zealand plants and their Maori names and uses. An excellent information source.
].
A decoctionof the bark is used to treat wounds (usually combined with rimu (Dacrydium cupressinum) and tutu (Coriaria species))[
292
Title
People Plants Database
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://peopleplants.landcareresearch.co.nz/WebForms/default.aspx
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
An online database of New Zealand plants and their Maori names and uses. An excellent information source.
].

Beta-sitosterol has been recorded as being isolated from the bark of this plant. The compound is a major component of an American proprietary drug used to lower blood cholesterol levels[
292
Title
People Plants Database
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://peopleplants.landcareresearch.co.nz/WebForms/default.aspx
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
An online database of New Zealand plants and their Maori names and uses. An excellent information source.
].

Isoboldine and other alkaloidshave been isolated from the berries[
292
Title
People Plants Database
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://peopleplants.landcareresearch.co.nz/WebForms/default.aspx
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
An online database of New Zealand plants and their Maori names and uses. An excellent information source.
].

Other Uses

The aromatic bark may have commercial use - it belongs to the same natural order as those producing the cinnamon, cassia, sassafras, benzoin, and camphor of commerce[
292
Title
People Plants Database
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://peopleplants.landcareresearch.co.nz/WebForms/default.aspx
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
An online database of New Zealand plants and their Maori names and uses. An excellent information source.
].

The heartwood is a pale, grayish brown colour, sometimes with dark brown streaks; it is not clearly demarcated from the sapwood. The texture is moderately fine; the grain usually straight; lustre is low; there is no distinctive odour or taste. The wood is hard and strong. It kiln and air dries readily with little or no degrade. It works satisfactorily with both hand and machine tools; has a moderate blunting effect on cutters; tends to split in nailing; glues well; splits evenly and cleanly. The heartwood is nondurable; the sapwood vulnerable to powder-post beetle attack. The wood is used for flooring, joinery, furniture components, plywood, cooperage, turnery, doweling[
316
Title
Tropical Timbers of the World. Ag. Handbook No. 607.
Publication
 
Author
Chudnoff. Martin.
Publisher
USDA Forest Service. Wisconsin.
Year
1984
ISBN
 
Description
Terse details on the properties of the wood of almost 400 species of trees from the Tropics.
,
1099
Title
Beilschmiedia tawa (A. Cunn.) Benth. et Hook. F. ex Kirk (Lauraceae) Tawa
Publication
New Zealand Journal of Botany, 1982, Vol. 20 : 37-54
Author
Barbara Knowles & A.E. Beveridge
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
An in-depth treatment of the plant, its ecology and uses.
]. It is used as pulp for making fine grades of paper[
1099
Title
Beilschmiedia tawa (A. Cunn.) Benth. et Hook. F. ex Kirk (Lauraceae) Tawa
Publication
New Zealand Journal of Botany, 1982, Vol. 20 : 37-54
Author
Barbara Knowles & A.E. Beveridge
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
An in-depth treatment of the plant, its ecology and uses.
].
The wood is used for fuel[
292
Title
People Plants Database
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://peopleplants.landcareresearch.co.nz/WebForms/default.aspx
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
An online database of New Zealand plants and their Maori names and uses. An excellent information source.
].

Propagation

Seed - best sown as soon as it is ripe when almost 100% will germinate. Viability deteriorates rapidly as the seed dried[
1099
Title
Beilschmiedia tawa (A. Cunn.) Benth. et Hook. F. ex Kirk (Lauraceae) Tawa
Publication
New Zealand Journal of Botany, 1982, Vol. 20 : 37-54
Author
Barbara Knowles & A.E. Beveridge
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
An in-depth treatment of the plant, its ecology and uses.
].
Layering, even of quite old branches, is fairly easy[
1099
Title
Beilschmiedia tawa (A. Cunn.) Benth. et Hook. F. ex Kirk (Lauraceae) Tawa
Publication
New Zealand Journal of Botany, 1982, Vol. 20 : 37-54
Author
Barbara Knowles & A.E. Beveridge
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
An in-depth treatment of the plant, its ecology and uses.
]..
Cite as: Temperate Plants Database, Ken Fern. temperate.theferns.info. 2018-10-19. <temperate.theferns.info/plant/Beilschmiedia+tawa>

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