Turner’s kohuhu Pittosporum turneri

Key Features

  • Turner’s kohuhu has a different form depending on its growth stage.
  • Young plants are cylindrical shrubs up to 2 m tall with dark grey bark, interlacing, zig-zagging branches and small (0.5-2 cm long), oblong, glossy, leathery leaves of varying shape and colour.
  • As plants grow older, the foliage gradually changes, with straplike leaves becoming longer (3-5 cm) and up to 1 cm wide, with smooth or slightly wavy margins.
  • Adult trees are up to 7 m tall with a spreading canopy, and have small, creamy red flowers on female trees.

Distribution and Habitat

  • Central North Island, from southern Pureora across the Volcanic Plateau to northwest Ruahine Range.
  • Forest margins on alluvial sites, typically streamsides and frost hollows.


  • Habitat modification and loss, due to land development or succession to tall forest.
  • Highly susceptible to possum browse.
  • Lack of birds to disperse fruit.

Management Opportunities

  • Mark known sites.
  • Survey for new locations.
  • Protection of habitat.
  • Possum control by poisoning or trapping.
  • Reintroduce to appropriate sites.
  • Encourage birdlife.
  • Ensure that forest owners are aware of potential habitats and can recognise the species.

Monitoring Options

  • Check existing populations annually.
  • Report new locations to DOC, NZPCN.

Further Information and Support

  • New Zealand Plant Conservation Network (NZPCN). http://www.nzpcn.org.nz
  • Possum control - Department of Conservation, Regional Councils.
  • References:
    • Dopson et al. (1999). The conservation requirements of New Zealand’s nationally threatened vascular plants. Threatened Species Occasional Publication 13. Department of Conservation, Wellington.
    • Wilson & Galloway (1993). Small-leaved shrubs of New Zealand. Manuka Press, Christchurch.
    • Peter de Lange, Peter Heenan, David Norton, Jeremy Rolfe and John Sawyer (2010). Threatened Plants of New Zealand. Canterbury University Press, Christchurch. 472 pp.