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One of New Zealand's best known plants. A medium sized shrub or small multi stemmed tree. Small dark green elongated leaves 5-10mm long and 2mm wide, and small round white flowers about 12mm across. Flowers from September to February and grow in medium density sprays. A hard nutty spherical seed pod develops that often stay on the plant for over a year.
Lowland areas throughout New Zealand and quite often in wetter areas. This one in a river valley in the central North Island.
Extracts from this plant used for many purposes. One of the most famous is the healing properties of honey made from the flowers and an oil extracted that is used for a number of things including the treatment of human head lice. A similar species, Kanuka is often confused but flowers and form are slightly different.