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Alectryon excelsus

Alectryon excelsus, commonly known as tītoki, is a shiny-leaved tree native to New Zealand, where it occurs in coastal and lowland forests. It is found throughout most of the North Island and from Banks Peninsula to central Westland in the South Island.

In common with most New Zealand native trees, the Māori name is now preferred for English use. It was formerly known as New Zealand Oak.

Description[edit]

A. excelsus is a canopy tree growing to 9 m (30 ft) in height. It has a twisting trunk with smooth dark bark, spreading branches and pinnate leaves.[1]

A. excelsus produces small purple flowers in spring and the seeds take up to a year to mature. The colourful seed is initially contained in a hairy woody capsule which splits revealing bright red and black unpalatable fruit (the black portion being the seed). The fruit is a favourite food of the New Zealand Wood Pigeon.

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