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Native plants that provide nectar, fruit and seeds for native birds

The following table provides a list of some of the native plants that are attractive to native birds.
These plant species are all found in the Auckland region.

The table has the plants listed by Maori name showing the approximate months of the year when nectar, fruit and seeds are available.

Species that are more likely to set fruit if several plants are planted to ensure pollination, are marked with an asterix (*) 

Maori Name

Botanical Name


Fruit / Seed

Hangehange Geniostoma ligustrifolium   Mar - Apr
Harakeke Phormium tenax Nov - Jan  
Houpara Pseudopanax lessonii   May - Jul
Kahikatea Dacrycarpus dacrydioides   Mar - Apr
Karaka Corynocarpus laevigatus   Feb - Apr
Karamu * Coprosma lucida   Jan - May
Karamu * Coprosma robusta   Jan - May
Karo Pittosporum crassifolium Sep - Dec May - Jun
Kawakawa Macropiper excelsum   Jan - Feb
Kohekohe   Dysoxylum spectabile   May - Aug
Kotukutuku * Fuchsia excorticata Sep - Nov Jan - Feb
Kowhai  Sophora species Aug - Oct  
Mahoe * Melictyus ramiflorus   Feb - Apr
Maire  Nestegis species   Mar - Jun
Makomako  Aristotelia serrata   Jan - Mar
Mapou  Myrsine australis   Feb - Apr
Miro Prumnopitys ferruginea   Mar - Jun
Nikau Rhopalostylis sapida   Jan - Dec
Pate Schefflera digitata   Mar - Apr
Pigeonwood * Hedycarya arborea   Jan - Apr
Pohutukawa Metrosideros excelsa Dec - Jan Mar - May
Puriri  Vitex lucens Jan - Dec Jan - Dec
Putaputaweta Carpodetus serratus   Mar - May
Rewarewa  Knightsia excelsa   Oct - Dec
Rimu  Dacrydium cupressinum   Apr - Jun
Taraire Beilschmiedia taraire   Apr - May
Taupata Coprosma repens   Jan - Mar
Tawa  Beilschmiedia tawa   Apr - Jun
Ti kouka Cordyline australis   Feb - Apr
Titoki Alectryon excelsus   Oct - Dec
Totara Podocarpus totara   Mar - Apr
Wharariki   Phormium cookianium   Nov - Jan
Whauwhaupaku   Pseudopanax arboreus Jul - Sep Mar - May
  Click here to open the above table in pdf_small_3.jpeg pdf. format to download
 Nectar Source for Birds

 Kowhai Sophora microphylla
 Flaxes Phormium tenax & Phormium    cookianum
 Five finger Pseudopanax species
 Kotukutuka Fuchsia excorticata
 Pohutukawa Metrosideros excelsa
 Puriri Vitex lucens
Rewarewa Knightsia excelsa
And it is important to note that Puriri Vitex lucens and Nikau Rhopalostylis sapida provide food and nectar for native birds all year round.

Any of the native trees and shrubs with fleshy drupes (fruit with a seed surrounded by a fleshy layer), bright coloured berries and seeds are a source of food. The seeds are then dispersed by the native birds.

By planting species that have bird dispersed seed, encourages regeneration of our native forests.

Click here to purchase any of these plants

Further Information

  • Before human settlement in New Zealand there were more than 60 species of native birds. But since human settlement about 40 percent of these birds have become extinct.
  • The New Zealand wood pigeon, Kereru is the only native bird that can swallow the large drupes of the taraire and karaka and tawa and therefore the only bird seed disperser of these species.
  • The tui, bellbird, stitchbird and silver eye are all nectar seeking birds and these birds act as pollinators of these plants.
  • Silver eye(wax eye), grey warbler, tui and fantail are insect eaters.
  • Pukeko eat shoots, seeds, and rhizomes and corms of grasses and marsh plants.