Nikau Palm     Family: Palmae      Genus:  Rhopalostylis

Picture top: A very old Nikau Palm that grew higher than all surrounding plants.

The Nikau Palm is very hard to transplant. Every nurseryman with years of experience has problems. If the roots are even slightly damaged in the transplanting they will die within a few days some lasting as long as 10 days.

Picture: The "bark" of the Nikau Palm

This palm created one of the most stunning dense pure Nikau Forests in the Wairere Boulders’ Nature Park.

The Palm is the only native palm of New Zealand and grows up to 15 m high. It is found in coastal and warmer inland forests of the North Island. Abundant on the northwest coast of the South Island and also found on Banks Peninsula and the Chatham Islands.

Medicinal Properties:
Laxative. Relaxes pelvic floor muscles. Makes labour easier. Also useful in cases of diarrhea.

Photo: A stand of young Nikau Palms,  growing into a dense jungle.

Picture:  The bulb of a Nikau with the flower growing at the bottom of each leaf

Photo: A large much branched flower head of light pink flowers grow from below the leaf base during summer.

Photo: The inflorescence bears both male and female flowers arranged in threes.

Photo: The fruit are getting towards a ripe stage.

Photo:  Ripe fruit of Nikau Palm

The fruit of the palm takes about 1 year to ripen.
The native pigeon and other birds feast on these fruit and disperse the seed.

Photo: Nikau Palms, a smal stand not yet fully grown. They can reach an age of a few hundred years.
©  Wairere Boulders (Nature Park, Horeke, Hokainga Harbour, Northland, New Zealand, NZ)