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Kohekohe or Dysoxylum Spectabile is a medium-sized tree.

Images of Kohekohe or Dysoxylum Spectabile at

Kohekohe which is also known as Dysoxylum Spectabile is a medium-sized tree.

Overview of Kohekohe or Dysoxylum Spectabile

• It is native to New Zealand.
• It is visible in lowland and coastal forests mostly all through the North Island.
• It also occurs in the Marlborough Sounds in the north of the South Island.
• It has a trunk up to a metre in diameter.
• Kohekohe forest was commonly found in damp coastal and lowland areas in the North Island.
• These forests have mostly disappeared.
• Panicles of Kohekohe have scented white flowers.
• They emerge directly from the trunk or branches.
• Kohekohe is notable for having characteristics of a tropical tree.
• It has white flowers.
• These grow directly from the trunk or branches.
• It has large, glossy and pinnate leaves.
• These leaves grow up to 40mm in length.
• Kohekohe is also known as New Zealand Mahogany.
• The wood is light and strong but not highly durable.
• It polishes to a fine red color.
• The pinnate leaves are large and glossy.
• It can be used as tonic and it is prepared by boiling the bark in water.
• The wood was used for building canoes.
• The wood is soft and not as durable as hardwoods.
• It tends to rot quickly.
• It is valued for carving.
• Kohekohe was considered the dominant vegetation cover which was found on Kapiti Island.
• It was cleared in the early 19th century for cultivation and farming.
• The kohekohe forest on Kapiti is recovering from the eradication of possums that was done in 1986.
• These trees give a tropical look to any ornamental garden.
• It is highly palatable to the Opossum.
• The flowers and fruit are found on panicles.
• They grow directly from the stem.
• This is called cauliflory.
• The tree looks beautiful when flowering is present.
• The fruit-capsules are obovoid in shape.
• They are about 2-3 cm long.
• They have 3 or 4 seeds per capsule.
• The seed is glossy black 1.5cm.
• The tree flowers and seeds in alternate years.
• Seeding and flowering are energy intensive processes.
• The plant can do this only one at a time.

Scientific classification of Kohekohe

• Kingdom : Plantae
• Division : Magnoliophyta
• Class : Eudicotyledoneae
• Subclass : Rosidae
• (unranked) : Eurosids II
• Order : Sapindales
• Family : Meliaceae
• Genus : Dysoxylum
• Species : D. spectabile
• Binomial name : Dysoxylum spectabile

Growing/Caring conditions

• Kohekohe is quick growing.
• It prefers a deep moist soil.
• It requires plenty of humus and a reasonably sheltered position.
• A bat or bird carries the pollination and seed dispersal in these tropical trees.
• The seeds are found in an orange or brown gelatinous mass.
• This jelly like matrix is considered to stop the seed from drying out as it germinates.
• The seeds fall from the tree which can be collected below the tree.
• They are available in the rotting orange pulp of the capsule.
• Collect them in mid-winter just after seed maturity.
• The seeds grow well when they are buried in a decomposing mahoe leaves litter.
• Once germinated the plant is quick to grow.
• It may be 50 cm tall 2 months from germination.
• Pot on into a PB10 to encourage rap-root.

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