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Oceania's Special Tree: Hakeke

20 January 2020

We continue our journey chasing the tree in Oceania and this week’s subject is Hakeke tree. Hakeke, or Olearia ilicifolia in Latin, is a very unique small tree. It is also known as Maori-Holly, Mountain Holly, Hakekeke and New Zealand Holly.

Belonging to the family Asteraceae, Hakeke either takes the form of a shrub or a small tree. Its height ranges between 1,5m and 4,5m. Its leaves measure 5-10cm in length, and 1-2cm in width.

Found across New Zealand, Hakeke tree has very stiff leaves, which makes it stand out among other trees. Come summertime, it blooms in full and its yellow and white flowers give off a distinctive, lovely smell -but don’t be fooled by its beauty and naivete because this small tree also has thorns, better beware!

Hakeke grows in mountains, among needle-leaved trees and plants. Up to 1200m in altitude is optimal for Hakeke; higher altitudes does not yield best conditions for its growth.

The best earth type for this tree type is sandy, fertile, and moist soil where water drainage level is high. Hakeke loves sunlight and has hard time growing where light doesn’t reach.

Hakeke is unique in a sense that it embodies two contrasting physical qualities; a rough appearance and a beautiful smell. Follow Yıldız Entegre’s social media platforms to learn more about Oceania’s beautiful tree Hakeke!

This Week on Chasing the Tree Across the Globe: Hakeke Tree