Entelea arborescens R. Br. in Bot. Mag. 1824, t. 2480
Whau (Cork Tree) (Hauama)
This tree has the lightest wood in the world, lighter even than the balsa used to construct model aeroplanes. It is also the only native tree in New Zealand to produce fruits with spines. It has large soft leaves and attractive flowers and it is fast becoming one of that group of native plants more commonly found in tree nurseries than in the wild. Most Waitakere tracks I've been on will yield a sighting, but not as common as many. Where "landscapers" have been at work, almost a certainty.
Some of it's comparative scarceness may be due to the palatibility of young plants to grazing animals.
The range is from North Cape to Nelson, most frequently on the lowland forest fringes or at the edge of clearings. Salmon reports it as common near the mouth of the Mokau River.
New Zealand Flora References
Species: Entelea arborescens