Edwardsia grandiflora microphylla (Aiton) Hook.f.
Edwardsia microphylla (Aiton) Salisb.
Sophora longicarinata G.Simpson
Sophora tetraptera L.f.
Sophora tetraptera microphylla (Aiton) Hook.f.
Common Name: Kowhai
Sophora microphylla is an evergreen tree growing eventually up to 25 metres tall, though often much smaller in cultivation. The bole can be up to 60cm in diameter. The plant usually goes through a more or less prolonged juvenile state during which it forms a dense bush with slender intertwining branches[
The tree is harvested from the wild for local use as a medicine and source of materials. The wood is of good quality and is harvested commercially. The plant is sometimes grown as an ornamental.
New Zealand - North, South and Chatham Islands
Lowland and lower montane regions, growing along rivers, forest outskirts, and open places[
|Other Uses Rating||
|Cultivation Status||Ornamental, Wild
This species has a symbiotic relationship with certain soil bacteria, these bacteria form nodules on the roots and fix atmospheric nitrogen. Some of this nitrogen is utilized by the growing plant but some can also be used by other plants growing nearby[
The bark is purgative. An infusion is drunk as a treatment for internal pains, colds and sore throats[
The bark is boiled with mānuka (Leptospermum scoparium), poured over woodash, and then rubbed onto infected areas in order to treat diseased skin and dandruff. A lotion is applied locally to pains in the back and side[
]. A poultice made from the bark is used to dress wounds, treat skin diseases, bruises etc[
]. The bark is soaked in water, pounded to soften it, then applied as a pack on broken limbs[
The inner bark isused by bushmen as a poultice for treating sprains, etc[
]. A lotion made from the inner bark is applied locally as a treatment for scabies[
A juice made from the central core of the root is taken internally as a treatment for gonorrhoea[
The leaves are boiled and applied as a pack for treating broken limbs[
A yellow dye is obtained from the plant[
]. Part not specified.
An extract of the bark and leaves is used as an ingredient in commercial cosmetic preparations as a skin conditioner[
The wood is highly durable. It is used for cabinetmaking. millwright's work etc. It is considered to be a valuable wood for fencing, and was traditionally to make axe handles, particularly the heavier ones[