Kāpuka, also known as Griselinia littoralis, is a small to medium-sized evergreen tree or shrub native to New Zealand. It can grow up to 10-15 meters in height. The leaves are leathery, oval-shaped, and have a glossy, dark green colour.
Kāpuka is found in various habitats throughout New Zealand, including forests, coastal areas, and cliffs. It can tolerate a range of soil conditions.
Kāpuka has cultural significance to Māori. The leaves were traditionally used for making ceremonial wreaths and garlands. The plant is also associated with protection and spiritual connections.
Kāpuka provides habitat and food for native birds, insects, and other wildlife. Its dense foliage helps provide shelter and shade in native ecosystems.
Tui: Tui are attracted to the nectar-rich flowers of Kapuka trees, and their distinctive calls can often be heard in these areas.
Kākāriki: Kākāriki might consume the berries of Kapuka trees as part of their diet.
Silvereye: Silvereyes feed on insects and nectar, and they could be seen around Kapuka trees.
canFantail: Fantails are skilled insect catchers and could be observed hunting insects around Kapuka trees.
Bellbird: Bellbirds are known for their melodious songs and their attraction to nectar-rich flowers, including those of Kapuka trees.
Grey Warbler: These tiny birds might forage for insects in the foliage of Kapuka trees.
Tomtit: Tomtits could be seen searching for insects on Kapuka trees.
Morepork (Ruru): While primarily nocturnal, Ruru might use Kapuka trees for roosting during the day.
Kāpuka is not currently listed as a threatened species. However, local populations can be impacted by habitat loss, browsing by introduced pests, and competition with invasive species.
To support the conservation of Kāpuka and other native plants, you can plant native trees in your area, participate in local restoration projects, and avoid the spread of invasive species.