Nomenclature
Scientific Name:
Beilschmiedia tarairi (A.Cunn.) Benth. & Hook.f. ex Kirk, Forest. Fl. New Zealand 71 (1889)
Synonymy:
  • Laurus tarairi A.Cunn., Ann. Nat. Hist. 1: 379 (1838)
  • Nesodaphne tarairi (A.Cunn.) Hook.f., Bot. Antarct. Voy. II. (Fl. Nov.-Zel.) Part I, 217 (1853)
Etymology:
The epithet tarairi is derived from the Maori name for the plant, taraire.
Vernacular Name(s):
Taraire
 Description

Evergreen tree to 22 m tall; trunk to 1 m diam.; wood pale brown, straight grained; bark smooth, dark brown, often obscured by lighter coloured lichen growth; branching monopodial to give a crown of stout, spreading branches; branchlets, young leaves, petioles and inflorescence branchlets densely clad in reddish brown tornentum; leaves closely alternate, simple, coriaceous, on petioles (8-)10(-12)mm long; midrib stout, slightly sinuous, prominent above and below; leaf laminae wide-elliptic to wide-obovate, (37-)49-72(- 84) × (26-)34-47(-56) mm, dark green and glabrous above with impressed veins, glaucous below with stout veins covered in reddish brown tomentum, margins entire and revolute, apex rounded to retuse and mucronate, venation reticulodromous; inflorescence an erect, axillary panicle to 100 mm long but generally shorter, stoutly branched with dense clusters of flowers; floral bracts 2-3 mm long, lanceolate, with dense reddish brown tomentum; flowers perfect, on short pedicels, 3-5 mm diam. greenish (this colour sometimes obscured by dense reddish brown tomentum), perianth of 6 segments, stamens 12 (arranged as for genus), ovary unilocular and superior; drupes erect, ellipsoid to ovoid, (27-)31(-35) × (14-)16(-18)mm, 1-seeded, pericarp fleshy, dark purple when ripe, glaucous.

[Reproduced from Wright (1984, New Zealand J. Bot. 22: 109-125) with permission from The Royal Society of New Zealand.]

 Biostatus
Indigenous (Endemic)
 Phenology

Flowering: Sep.–Dec.; Fruiting: Nov.–Feb.

 Bibliography
Cunningham, A. 1838: Florae insularum Novae Zelandiae precursor; or a specimen of the botany of the islands of New Zealand. Annals of Natural History 1: 376–381.
de Lange, P.J.; Rolfe, J.R.; Barkla J.W.; Courtney, S.P.; Champion, P.D.; Perrie, L.R.; Beadel, S.N.; Ford, K.A.; Breitwieser, I.; Schönberger, I.; Hindmarsh-Walls, R.; Heenan, P.B.; Ladley, K. 2018: Conservation status of New Zealand indigenous vascular plants, 2017. New Zealand Threat Classification Series. No. 22. [Not Threatened]
de Lange, P.J.; Rolfe, J.R.; Champion, P.D.; Courtney, S.P.; Heenan, P.B.; Barkla, J.W.; Cameron, E.K.; Norton, D.A.; Hitchmough, R.A. 2013: Conservation status of New Zealand indigenous vascular plants, 2012. New Zealand Threat Classification Series 3. Department of Conservation, Wellington. [Not Threatened]
Hooker, J.D. 1853: The Botany of the Antarctic Voyage of H.M. Discovery Ships Erebus and Terror in the Years 1839–1843, under the command of Captain Sir James Clark Ross. II. Flora Novae-Zelandiae. Part I. Flowering plants. Lovell Reeve, London.
Kirk, T. 1889: The forest flora of New Zealand. Wellington, N.Z.
Wright, A.E. 1984: Beilschmiedia Nees (Lauraceae) in New Zealand. New Zealand Journal of Botany 22: 109–125.