Akeake

Akeake (Dodonaea viscosa) is a coastal tree that is widespread around the Southern Hemisphere, dispersed by its floating papery seeds. It is identifiable by its light green leaves (which rustle in the wind) and its reddish stringy bark.

Several other trees share this name, all of them having exceptionally hard wood. The straight stems of akeake were used to make weapons by Māori, such as the highly prized taiaha, used for close combat and also ceremoniously on the marae. The bark of the akeake is the home of Kahukura; a being who advises on matters of warfare.

Akeake grows quickly, is drought tolerant, and therefore is widely used in coastal forest restoration, especially in campgrounds to provide shelter. Sometimes the leaves are reddish or purple and are favourite garden plants. In the park akeake naturally occurs only in small patches.

 

Akeake

Akeake—photo Amber Tate