6. Puriri Vitex lucens

Family: Lamiaceae

Naturally occurring in the north of the North Island. Puriri is one of the few NZ trees with large colourful flowers. Copious nectar attracts birds The dark coloured wood is difficult split and Maori used it for garden tools and weapons. Europeans prized the wood for furniture, often calling it “NZ teak” or “NZ walnut” and by the 1940’s the supply of Puriri timber was almost exhausted.