Landcare Research - Manaaki Whenua

Landcare-Research -Manaaki Whenua

All cultivars

Aohanga, Awanga

Cultivar No Source: Rene Orchiston 1
Source Source: Rene Orchiston Waiomatatini, East Coast, North Island.
Description Source: Rene Orchiston

Medium height. White stripes along the pale green leaf.

Uses Source: Rene Orchiston

Decorative cultivar. Selwyn (1847) and Best (1909) mention its strong coarse fibre used for rough garments, floormats and kete. "Ko te wharanui, ko te awanga tona ingoa he taroa" (Williams 1971). The Awanga used by the NZ Department of Agriculture earlier this century in breeding trials for the flax industry is a different cultivar.

Muka extraction Source: Katarina Tawiri Small amount of dull, brittle muka. Muka extracts cleanly but para sticks to fibre.
Raranga - unboiled Source: Katarina Tawiri Lovely, strong raranga flax. Butt end of whenu a bit hard to soften.

Information sources:

Source: Rene Orchiston Rene Orchiston Source: Katarina Tawiri Katarina Tawiri Source: Rob Smissen Rob Smissen Source: Sue Scheele Sue Scheele

Arawa

Cultivar No Source: Rene Orchiston 42
Source Source: Rene Orchiston Rotoiti area.
Description Source: Rene Orchiston

Straight, fairly long, medium green blades. Up to 2.5 m tall. Reddish-orange margin and keel. Very high flower heads but seldom flowers.

Uses Source: Rene Orchiston

Excellent muka harakeke. The best Mrs Orchiston found for producing long strands of clean fibre with hāro method (stripping with a shell). Good for piupiu because it is so easy to prepare. Especially good for ladies piupiu because of the length although the prepared strips do not dry as strong as other cultivars. When boiled for one minute, it dries to a cream colour. Ideal for whenu and aho in kākahu and for muka kete.

Muka extraction Source: Katarina Tawiri Muka extracts easily and cleanly when cut is made deep enough. When cut is shallow, some leaf matter sticks to fibre and stains it when cleaned off. Para removes effortlessly. Large amount of fibre, strong and coarse.
Raranga - unboiled Source: Katarina Tawiri Typical muka flax. Edges constantly fray, whenu easily split. Whenu dry out quickly once softened.

Information sources:

Source: Rene Orchiston Rene Orchiston Source: Katarina Tawiri Katarina Tawiri Source: Rob Smissen Rob Smissen Source: Sue Scheele Sue Scheele

Atarau

Cultivar No Source: Rene Orchiston 12
Source Source: Rene Orchiston Pipiriki, Whanganui River.
Description Source: Rene Orchiston

A handsome bush, quite a contrast with a distinctive deep blue tone about its tall bright bronzy leaves.

Straight, strong, pointed leaf with red tonings inside the old blades. Very blue bloom on the back of the blades. Very few flower heads.

Uses Source: Rene Orchiston

Strips well and fairly easily, but not really a muka variety.

When Rene experimented with this harakeke, the scrape turned a lovely yellow-gold the same day. When boiled for one minute, strips dry to deep green/fawn shadings. Fawn-brown when unboiled.

Muka extraction Source: Katarina Tawiri Only a portion (approx. one third) of muka extracts. Rest of fibre remains in leaf. Para sticks to fibre.
Raranga - unboiled Source: Katarina Tawiri Butt ends of whenu are thick and tips are thin. When softening whenu, sticky juice is released. Edges fray, whenu easily split lengthwise. Whenu turn golden colour when still fresh.

Information sources:

Source: Rene Orchiston Rene Orchiston Source: Katarina Tawiri Katarina Tawiri Source: Rob Smissen Rob Smissen Source: Sue Scheele Sue Scheele

Ate

Cultivar No Source: Rene Orchiston 21
Source Source: Rene Orchiston Pipiriki, Wanganui River.
Description Source: Rene Orchiston

One of the favourites in the Wanganui River district.

A fine looking bush with tall, straight, wide, dark blue-green blades with a definite blue bloom on the underside of the leaves. Margin and keel very dark reddish brown. No kōrari.

Uses Source: Rene Orchiston

Does not strip well, but good for strong kete. The Flax Commissioner in Wanganui (1871) recorded its use for eel nets and baskets. Dries to a clear creamy white when boiled for one minute, more brown when unboiled. May be used for piupiu, although the para is inclined to adhere, but it dries hard and strong.

Rene's friend from this area sent a telegram to tell her she had sent the plant – "Ate flax sent today." The Post Office assuming a spelling error changed it to "Eight flax sent today"!

Muka extraction Source: Katarina Tawiri Muka extracts well and para removes well from most whenu.
Raranga - unboiled Source: Katarina Tawiri When softening whenu, it's hard to tell upper and back side of leaf apart as it has very little bloom. Butt end is fat, tip is thin. Whenu soften easily. Lovely for raranga.

Information sources:

Source: Rene Orchiston Rene Orchiston Source: Katarina Tawiri Katarina Tawiri Source: Rob Smissen Rob Smissen Source: Sue Scheele Sue Scheele

Atewheke

Cultivar No Source: Rene Orchiston 20
Source Source: Rene Orchiston Taranaki. One of cultivars sent to Botanic Gardens, Wellington in 1870.
Description Source: Rene Orchiston

Tall, bendy leaves. Interesting looking bush showing blades of several different shades. Some older ones quite yellow with black margins and keel. Young blades bronze with red veining on margins and keel. Very glaucous blue on underside of blades (i.e., covered with bloom as on a plum, or cabbage leaf). Bright salmon red inside base of blade when cut. Flowers well.

Uses Source: Rene Orchiston

Good for whāriki and kete as it dries to the colour of corn producing effective decoration. Not a muka variety, but has a nice white fibre. Not easily stripped.

Muka extraction Source: Katarina Tawiri Muka extracts easily, para has to be removed with knife. Medium amount of reasonably strong fibre.
Raranga - unboiled Source: Katarina Tawiri Lovely, medium-soft flax. Even when still green, whenu have golden sheen to them, especially when in bright light. Whenu dry out very quickly which is a disadvantage when working on large projects.

Information sources:

Source: Rene Orchiston Rene Orchiston Source: Katarina Tawiri Katarina Tawiri Source: Rob Smissen Rob Smissen Source: Sue Scheele Sue Scheele

Awahou

Cultivar No Source: Rene Orchiston 25
Source Source: Rene Orchiston Eastern Bay of Plenty.
Description Source: Rene Orchiston

A superior, handsome cultivar with short, wide, strong, pale green blades. Some of the blades measure 15 cm across. Distinct blunt, Gothic-shaped tips. The strong fibre shows clearly through the green skin. Orange-red keel and margin. Short kōrari with dense groups of blunt seed pods.

Uses Source: Rene Orchiston

Makes very good strong kete which dry very white after boiling for one minute. Short, very strong and may be used for piupiu, but not really a muka variety.

Muka extraction Source: Katarina Tawiri Muka extracts badly, keeps breaking off. Para sticks to muka, need knife for scraping. Large amount of muka in leaf, just doesn't extract well.
Raranga - unboiled Source: Katarina Tawiri Superior raranga flax. Very strong, soft, leathery and pliable after softening. Waxy quality, keeps tension well.

Information sources:

Source: Rene Orchiston Rene Orchiston Source: Katarina Tawiri Katarina Tawiri Source: Rob Smissen Rob Smissen Source: Sue Scheele Sue Scheele

Hūhiroa

Cultivar No Source: Rene Orchiston 19
Source Source: Rene Orchiston Botanic Gardens, Wellington. Sent from Taranaki in 1870. Identified by Mrs Orchiston in 1972. Also sent to Britain earlier this century. Grew well in Ireland.
Description Source: Rene Orchiston

Very tall, up to 3 metres. Tapering blades, pale bluish-green in colour. No kōrari. Dark brown edge with dark reddish-brown keel.

Uses Source: Rene Orchiston

In Rene's experience, this harakeke does not produce very good fibre. The early records however suggest that H?hiroa was well regarded in Taranaki and Wanganui. Its long fibre was of excellent quality and easily stripped. Used for fine mats, garments, fishing lines and ropes.

Muka extraction Source: Katarina Tawiri Medium amount of muka extracts well and para removes easily.
Raranga - unboiled Source: Katarina Tawiri Good raranga flax. Leathery quality, easy to keep tension. Long leaves, ideal for whāriki.

Information sources:

Source: Rene Orchiston Rene Orchiston Source: Katarina Tawiri Katarina Tawiri Source: Rob Smissen Rob Smissen Source: Sue Scheele Sue Scheele

Kauhangaroa

Cultivar No Source: Rene Orchiston 23
Source Source: Rene Orchiston Wairoa, Hawke's Bay.
Description Source: Rene Orchiston

A decorative variety which Rene has not seen growing elsewhere. Mentioned in the Flax Commissioners Reports on Hawke's Bay. Very tall, straight blades with a 3–7 mm red margin along the sides of the bronze-green blades, which shows up brightly when the sun is behind the bush. The centre of the young blades is pale green, then shaded in maroon out to the crimson margin. There is 5–7 cm of crimson on the tips of the blades. A very prolific flowerer.

Uses Source: Rene Orchiston

Mainly ornamental. Dries out to an uninteresting brown shade. Rather poor fibre. Nairn (Flax Commissioners Report 1870) says it was used only for baskets and matting, and that the fibre easily breaks with a jerk. The strong kōrari were tied into bundles and lashed together to make rafts.

Muka extraction Source: Katarina Tawiri Small amount of muka, extracts badly and keeps breaking off. Para sticks.
Raranga - unboiled Source: Katarina Tawiri Soft, thin leaved flax. Good for beginners and small articles. May be good for whāriki, as leaves are long.

Information sources:

Source: Rene Orchiston Rene Orchiston Source: Katarina Tawiri Katarina Tawiri Source: Rob Smissen Rob Smissen Source: Sue Scheele Sue Scheele

Kōhunga

Cultivar No Source: Rene Orchiston 16
Source Source: Rene Orchiston Maniapoto area.
Description Source: Rene Orchiston

Tall, rather droopy blue-green blades. Glaucous blue-green on underside. Black margin and keel. Many very tall flower heads with small seed pods.

Uses Source: Rene Orchiston

Long recognised as a fine cultivar. One of the favourites of the Maniapoto people. Strips well into long, silky white fibres. Mrs Rangimarie Hetet and her daughter Diggeress Te Kanawa use this harakeke for the whenu in their finest kākahu. For kete, when boiled for one minute, the leaf dries to a very pale creamy fawn. Darker when unboiled.

Rene writes: "A time of great pride for all was when Aromea Te Maipi, a tutor in Māori weaving, came to my plantation and together we collected a bundle of the superior whītau blades from Kōhunga and Taeore. Members of the Māori Women's Welfare League helped her to prepare the whītau and feathers which Aromea used to weave a beautiful little muka and feather kete. This was presented to Her Royal Highness Diana, Princess of Wales, when she and His Royal Highness Charles, The Prince of Wales, visited Te Poho-o-Rawiri Marae in Gisborne in April 1983."

Muka extraction Source: Katarina Tawiri Only older leaves release muka cleanly. Muka in younger leaves breaks halfway towards tip of leaf.
Raranga - unboiled Source: Katarina Tawiri Excellent raranga flax. Feels strong and is easy to soften. Stronger than Taeore. Contains more fibre.

Information sources:

Source: Rene Orchiston Rene Orchiston Source: Katarina Tawiri Katarina Tawiri Source: Rob Smissen Rob Smissen Source: Sue Scheele Sue Scheele

Makaweroa

Cultivar No Source: Rene Orchiston 30
Source Source: Rene Orchiston Torere, Eastern Bay of Plenty. From Mick Pendergrast.
Description Source: Rene Orchiston

Medium height, fairly straight, strong, soft leaf. Pale green with orange-brown margin and keel. Very few kōrari. Seldom flowers.

Notes Source: Rene Orchiston Also known as Hirakaóa name for fibre resembling silk.
Uses Source: Rene Orchiston

Strips easily and cleanly (with care) into white, delicate, silky fibre. Needs hardly any dressing to prepare it for use in soft, fine muka kete.

Muka extraction Source: Katarina Tawiri Muka extracts effortlessly, para removes with fingernails or just falls off. Fibre strong, smooth and long. Excellent muka flax.
Raranga - unboiled Source: Katarina Tawiri Typical muka flax. Edges of whenu fray when softened, whenu easily splits. Even though leaf contains large amount of fibre, whenu soften easily because of small amount of green leaf matter. Makes strong raranga.

Information sources:

Source: Rene Orchiston Rene Orchiston Source: Katarina Tawiri Katarina Tawiri Source: Rob Smissen Rob Smissen Source: Sue Scheele Sue Scheele

Matawai Taniwha

Cultivar No Source: Rene Orchiston 37
Source Source: Rene Orchiston Matawai, near Waioeka Gorge, East Coast.
Description Source: Rene Orchiston

Very tall, slightly bendy variety. Leaves a yellowy–bronze colour with darker shadings. Reddish–brown margin and keel. Very tall seed heads. Bright salmon red inside cut blade

Uses Source: Rene Orchiston

Kete variety. Also good for whāriki as it produces long strips which dry to a corn yellow shade. Gives good contrast when used in patterns. Better not boiled. For whāriki just drag through boiling water. Roots used for medicinal purposes.

Muka extraction Source: Katarina Tawiri Muka extracts well, para removes fairly well. Fibre brittle and fluffs up easily. Small to medium amount of fibre.
Raranga - unboiled Source: Katarina Tawiri Lovely, supple flax for raranga. Easy to soften and waxy enough for good tension.

Information sources:

Source: Rene Orchiston Rene Orchiston Source: Katarina Tawiri Katarina Tawiri Source: Rob Smissen Rob Smissen Source: Sue Scheele Sue Scheele

Mawaru

Cultivar No Source: Rene Orchiston 9
Source Source: Rene Orchiston Arawa
Description Source: Rene Orchiston

Medium to tall bush, bendy, wide, soft and shiny blades. Pale yellow-green with a very pale cream margin and keel. Produces flower heads on very dark purple stems, and later, rather droopy, twisted seed pods.

Uses Source: Rene Orchiston

Easy to work with. Good for green kete, toys, etc. Do not boil.

Muka extraction Source: Katarina Tawiri Carefully done, a small amount of muka can be extracted. Para sticks, removes with knife.
Raranga - unboiled Source: Katarina Tawiri Tight raranga achieved as very pliable and thin leaves. Edges stay clean. Similar green-yellow colour as Paoa, although range of shades not as varied.

Information sources:

Source: Rene Orchiston Rene Orchiston Source: Katarina Tawiri Katarina Tawiri Source: Rob Smissen Rob Smissen Source: Sue Scheele Sue Scheele

Motu-o-nui

Cultivar No Source: Rene Orchiston 31
Source Source: Rene Orchiston Urewera.
Description Source: Rene Orchiston

One of the few traditional variegated cultivars. Medium height, straight, strong, very wide green blades unevenly striped with white. Gothic pointed. Very few, very small flower heads. Much wider blades than Aohanga.

Uses Source: Rene Orchiston

Ornamental. Strong but poor quality fibre.

Muka extraction Source: Katarina Tawiri Muka extracts cleanly, para removes well with fingernails. Similar to Parekoritawa. Medium amount of fibre.
Raranga - unboiled Source: Katarina Tawiri Whenu soften easily. Edges fray and whenu tends to split. Average raranga flax.

Information sources:

Source: Rene Orchiston Rene Orchiston Source: Katarina Tawiri Katarina Tawiri Source: Rob Smissen Rob Smissen Source: Sue Scheele Sue Scheele

Māeneene

Cultivar No Source: Rene Orchiston 3
Source Source: Rene Orchiston Urewera.
Description Source: Rene Orchiston

Tall, bendy, but strong durable blades. Medium green with red margins and keel. Very bright salmon red at base of plant and inside the base of the cut blade. Has few, very tall kōrari.

Uses Source: Rene Orchiston

A favourite whāriki harakeke in the Urewera. Rene writes "The 88 year-old lady who gave me my original plant was a very skilled craftswoman who had helped produce many fine patterned whāriki which have been in use for many years in the local meeting houses tucked in the hills of the Urewera.î Also a fine kete varietyódo not boil, but drag through boiling water. The roots were roasted on hot stones, then macerated into a very effective poultice for abscesses.

Muka extraction Source: Katarina Tawiri Medium amount of muka extracts easily and cleanly. Para removes effortlessly. Quality of muka strong.
Raranga - unboiled Source: Katarina Tawiri Leaves harvested four days prior to weaving. Perfectly pliable and leathery. Lovely raranga flax.

Information sources:

Source: Rene Orchiston Rene Orchiston Source: Katarina Tawiri Katarina Tawiri Source: Rob Smissen Rob Smissen Source: Sue Scheele Sue Scheele

Ngaro

Cultivar No Source: Rene Orchiston 29
Source Source: Rene Orchiston Moutoa Estate, Foxton.
Description Source: Rene Orchiston

Very tall (up to 3 metres), straight. Bush has dark, bronzy-green appearance. The strong fibres show clearly through the skin of the blades. The young blades are a distinct bronze shade and are relieved by a scarlet line along the centre of the blades.

Notes Source: Rene Orchiston (sometimes Ngaru)
Uses Source: Rene Orchiston

Recognised last century as one of the best cultivars for milling. Strong, hard fibre, well suited for cordage. Very good piupiu harakeke especially for ladies piupiu, as it has length and the para comes away easily with a shell. The long fibres are surprisingly fine and silky for the strength of the blades. Ideal for whenu and aho in cloaks as it requires very little dressing. Makes strong kete. Inclined to dry out into mixed greenish to fawn tones when boiled for one minute. Darker when unboiled.

Muka extraction Source: Katarina Tawiri Large amount of coarse muka. Some leaf matter sticks to fibre, para sticks occasionally.
Raranga - unboiled Source: Katarina Tawiri Produces very long whenu. Good for tall and strong backpacks. When softening, some older leaves separate fibre from leaf matter, typical for muka flax. Butt ends hard to soften.

Information sources:

Source: Rene Orchiston Rene Orchiston Source: Katarina Tawiri Katarina Tawiri Source: Rob Smissen Rob Smissen Source: Sue Scheele Sue Scheele

Ngutunui

Cultivar No Source: Rene Orchiston 50
Source Source: Rene Orchiston Maniapoto.
Description Source: Rene Orchiston

Short, bendy variety smudged with reddish shadings on sides and tips of blades. Overall bush has a yellow-bronze appearance particularly in the older leaves. Despite brownish tips and markings it is different from Tupurupuru.

Uses Source: Rene Orchiston

Good for kete and whāriki if blades are long enough as it dries into mixed greenish-tan shades. If long enough can, with care, produce good muka for whenu in kete, wall-hangings, etc. The NZ Department of Agriculture (1908) described its fibre as strong and elastic, thin but tough. In strength, the fibre was by far the best of 10 cultivars tested. It was said to be highly prized for making fine mats and cloaks. Best (1909) said that in the Urewera nets and snares were made from the undressed leaves.

Muka extraction Source: Katarina Tawiri Muka extracts cleanly. Medium amount of fibre. Para removes easily from most whenu.
Raranga - unboiled Source: Katarina Tawiri Whenu are strong, pliable, leathery and slightly waxy. All good qualities for excellent raranga flax. Edges fray slightly. Whenu rapidly turn golden yellow as weaving progresses, quite unusual. Reminds me of Atewheke.

Information sources:

Source: Rene Orchiston Rene Orchiston Source: Katarina Tawiri Katarina Tawiri Source: Rob Smissen Rob Smissen Source: Sue Scheele Sue Scheele

Opiki

Cultivar No Source: Rene Orchiston 43
Source Source: Rene Orchiston Near Foxton.
Description Source: Rene Orchiston

Very tall, wide, medium green blades. Few kōrari.

Uses Source: Rene Orchiston

Handy all purpose harakeke. Strips fairly well, although para is inclined to adhere. In tests for piupiu making, dried quite hard but strip needs to be cut to about 25 mm. Not as strong as other cultivars. Dries to a pale fawn.

Muka extraction Source: Katarina Tawiri Muka extracts perfectly cleanly and easily. Para removes effortlessly. Ideal muka flax.
Raranga - unboiled Source: Katarina Tawiri Strong flax, but like other muka flax the edges fray and fibre wants to separate from leaf when being softened.

Information sources:

Source: Rene Orchiston Rene Orchiston Source: Katarina Tawiri Katarina Tawiri Source: Rob Smissen Rob Smissen Source: Sue Scheele Sue Scheele

Oue

Cultivar No Source: Rene Orchiston 26
Source Source: Rene Orchiston Tairawhiti (East Coast).
Description Source: Rene Orchiston

Short, strong, straight, pale green blades with blunt Gothic points particularly on the young blades. Similar to Awahou but not such wide blades. Margin and keel are brownish orange. Few short kōrari with heavy, blunt seed pods.

The Oue described in some early records and given the synonym Tāpoto corresponds to the harakeke Tāpoto in this collection. Best (1909) says that Urewera Māori distinguished two sexes of Oue: the male, with longer fibre, more pointed and reddish leaves, and harsh fibre with a reddish tinge and the female, with shorter leaves and fibre, light reddish edges and soft white fibre. Best says that Oue was brought to the Urewera from Waikato.

Uses Source: Rene Orchiston

Very good all purpose harakeke. Some mature blades may be used for piupiu but not really a piupiu variety . Makes very strong kete which dry out well into a rich pale parchment shade when boiled for one minute. Slightly darker when unboiled.

Muka extraction Source: Katarina Tawiri Muka extracts well, but some leaf matter sticks to fibre. Para only partially removes, rest to be scraped with knife. Medium to large amount of muka.
Raranga - unboiled Source: Katarina Tawiri Whenu are of even thickness but a bit hard to soften. Not a beginners flax. Great for raranga, not as waxy as Awahou, but in all other respects very similar. Wide leaf producing lots of rather short whenu. Good for whiri bottom kete.

Information sources:

Source: Rene Orchiston Rene Orchiston Source: Katarina Tawiri Katarina Tawiri Source: Rob Smissen Rob Smissen Source: Sue Scheele Sue Scheele

Pango

Cultivar No Source: Rene Orchiston 48
Source Source: Rene Orchiston Tawatapu district, south of Gisborne.
Description Source: Rene Orchiston

Short, bendy variety . Overall bush has a dark appearance. Rito blades are a bronze colour. Reddish-brown margin and keel. Brownish-purple kōrari. Flowers well.

Uses Source: Rene Orchiston

Green kete harakeke. Not good for muka.

Muka extraction Source: Katarina Tawiri With care, small amount of muka extracts. Some leaf matter sticks to fibre, para sticks also. Fibre weak, easily damaged when para removed with knife. Feels like Wharariki (Phormium cookianum).
Raranga - unboiled Source: Katarina Tawiri Easy to soften. Good beginners flax. Whenu soft and supple. Could work well for whāriki.

Information sources:

Source: Rene Orchiston Rene Orchiston Source: Katarina Tawiri Katarina Tawiri Source: Rob Smissen Rob Smissen Source: Sue Scheele Sue Scheele

Paoa

Cultivar No Source: Rene Orchiston 6
Source Source: Rene Orchiston Muriwai, Gisborne District (Mrs Te Hau).
Description Source: Rene Orchiston

The bush is of medium height with a yellowy-green appearance, slightly droopy leaves, soft but strong. Margin and keel have fine bright orange lines. Yellow shading on tips of young blades which are rather Gothic pointed. Flowers freely even on young bushes. Long kōrari with dense, strong seed pods.

Notes Source: Rene Orchiston According to tradition, this variety was used to moor the canoe of Paoa when he arrived at Muriwai in the canoe Horouta.
Uses Source: Rene Orchiston

A fine kete variety sought after for decoration as the mature blades dry to distinct yellow tonesósometimes so yellow that it has been mistaken for pīngao, the golden sand sedge (Desmoschoenus spiralis). Ideal for decorative patterns in kete and whāriki.

Muka extraction Source: Katarina Tawiri When done carefully, small amount of muka can be extracted. Muka extracts well but para sticks.
Raranga - unboiled Source: Katarina Tawiri Leaves are long. Colour shades vary from golden-yellow to green-yellow to olive-green. Whenu are soft and do not fray. Waxy quality makes for tight weaving.

Information sources:

Source: Rene Orchiston Rene Orchiston Source: Katarina Tawiri Katarina Tawiri Source: Rob Smissen Rob Smissen Source: Sue Scheele Sue Scheele

Parekoritawa

Cultivar No Source: Rene Orchiston 22
Source Source: Rene Orchiston Waiomatatini, East Coast. Also sent from Taranaki to Botanic Gardens, Wellington in 1870.
Description Source: Rene Orchiston

One of few traditional cultivars of variegated harakeke. The whole bush has a yellow appearance, with the bright green leaves striped with a bright sulphur yellow. Short, straight, strong, pointed blades. Orange margin and keel ("like karakaî, Andersen 1907). Few kōrari, with light flower heads.

Uses Source: Rene Orchiston

Kelly, in the Flax Commissioners Report 1870, described it as a beautiful plant and it was, and is, valued as ornamental. It is a parent of many modern coloured hybrids. Also produces high quality, shiny, but rather brittle fibre.

Muka extraction Source: Katarina Tawiri Muka extracts effortlessly and para removes with finger nails. Fibre is silky and white.
Raranga - unboiled Source: Katarina Tawiri Whenu hard to soften because of high fibre content. In general lovely and pliable raranga flax.

Information sources:

Source: Rene Orchiston Rene Orchiston Source: Katarina Tawiri Katarina Tawiri Source: Rob Smissen Rob Smissen Source: Sue Scheele Sue Scheele

Paretaniwha

Cultivar No Source: Rene Orchiston 10
Source Source: Rene Orchiston Rotoiti area.
Description Source: Rene Orchiston

Users today would give conflicting descriptions of this flax. Rene's plant tallies with information given in early records (Flax Commissioners Report 1871; NZ Department of Agriculture Report, 1908).

Very tall, erect cultivar, up to 3 metres. Straight, wide, medium green blades with yellow margin and keel. Flowers freely, short seed pods.

Uses Source: Rene Orchiston

Makes a very good strong kete (unboiled) which dries out to a lovely rich golden corn colour. Slightly paler when boiled. Not heavy enough for piupiu.

Muka extraction Source: Katarina Tawiri Medium to small amount of muka. Fibre appears weak, para sticks, can be removed with knife.
Raranga - unboiled Source: Katarina Tawiri Butt ends of whenu are much thicker than tips. Creates uneven raranga.

Information sources:

Source: Rene Orchiston Rene Orchiston Source: Katarina Tawiri Katarina Tawiri Source: Rob Smissen Rob Smissen Source: Sue Scheele Sue Scheele

Potaka

Cultivar No Source: Rene Orchiston 60
Source Source: Rene Orchiston East Coast.
Description Source: Rene Orchiston

Tall, slightly bendy, blue-green leaves with powdery blue underside. Similar to Ruawai. Black margin and keel. Sends up plenty of very tall kōrari with light seed pods.

Uses Source: Rene Orchiston

Mature blades strip well with shell into long strands of fine, silky fibre. Very good for kete as it dries very white when boiled for one minute.

Muka extraction Source: Katarina Tawiri Medium amount of muka. Doesn't extract cleanly and para is hard to scrape off with knife. Not a muka flax.
Raranga - unboiled Source: Katarina Tawiri Whenu easy to soften and long. Ideal for whāriki. Whenu pliable and slightly waxy. Good raranga flax.

Information sources:

Source: Rene Orchiston Rene Orchiston Source: Katarina Tawiri Katarina Tawiri Source: Rob Smissen Rob Smissen Source: Sue Scheele Sue Scheele

Rangiwaho

Cultivar No Source: Rene Orchiston 32
Source Source: Rene Orchiston Tawatapu district, south of Gisborne. Named after a chief of the region.
Description Source: Rene Orchiston

Short bush, bendy leaves, with reddish-brown margin and keel. Small flower heads with heavy seed pods.

Uses Source: Rene Orchiston

Green kete variety . Not good for stripping as fibre breaks. The seed pods were used to dye fabric.

Muka extraction Source: Katarina Tawiri Small amount of muka extracts well, para removes easily. Lovely silky quality.
Raranga - unboiled Source: Katarina Tawiri Small bush, short leaves. Great raranga flax with easy to soften, leathery and strong whenu.

Information sources:

Source: Rene Orchiston Rene Orchiston Source: Katarina Tawiri Katarina Tawiri Source: Rob Smissen Rob Smissen Source: Sue Scheele Sue Scheele

Raumoa

Cultivar No Source: Rene Orchiston 35
Source Source: Rene Orchiston Botanic Gardens, Wellington (originally sent from Taranaki in 1870) and Te Kuiti.
Description Source: Rene Orchiston

Tall, soft but strong leaves. Tomato red keel and margins on all blades. Plenty of heavy, tall seed heads.

Uses Source: Rene Orchiston

Good whāriki harakeke. Also good for fine kaitaka kete as it dries very white like kiekie when boiled. Strips easily with a shell into silky white fibre, though the para is inclined to adhere. For kete, the leaves dry to a greenish white when unboiled, almost white when boiled.

Muka extraction Source: Katarina Tawiri Muka extracts fairly well. Some leaf matter sticks to fibre. Medium amount of dull fibre with para sticking to it.
Raranga - unboiled Source: Katarina Tawiri Exquisite raranga flax. Whenu are dry, pliable, leathery and of an unusual quality, as they do not dry out quickly. Whenu strong. When softening, top of whenu turns a light colour.

Information sources:

Source: Rene Orchiston Rene Orchiston Source: Katarina Tawiri Katarina Tawiri Source: Rob Smissen Rob Smissen Source: Sue Scheele Sue Scheele

Ruahine

Cultivar No Source: Rene Orchiston 46
Source Source: Rene Orchiston Urewera
Description Source: Rene Orchiston

A muka variety. Tall, straight, strong, yellow-green blades. Light orange keel and margins. Similar to Tāpoto, but softer and taller. Tall thin kōrari with light seed heads.

Uses Source: Rene Orchiston

Quite good for piupiu as it strips well and cleanly although it has rather thin fibre. Dries hard to a pale cream after being boiled for one minute.

Muka extraction Source: Katarina Tawiri Muka extracts cleanly, para removes well. Small amount of fibre, thinning out towards tip of leaf.
Raranga - unboiled Source: Katarina Tawiri Butt end hard to soften, reflecting fibre content. Tip much softer, lack of fibre. Edges fray slightly. Nice long whenu.

Information sources:

Source: Rene Orchiston Rene Orchiston Source: Katarina Tawiri Katarina Tawiri Source: Rob Smissen Rob Smissen Source: Sue Scheele Sue Scheele

Ruapani

Cultivar No Source: Rene Orchiston 45
Source Source: Rene Orchiston Urewera
Description Source: Rene Orchiston

Tall, straight, strong, medium green blades. Reddish-brown keel and margins on the older leaf and a fine orange-red on the younger rito leaves. Similar to Ruahine but taller, wider with finer fibre.

Uses Source: Rene Orchiston

Very heavy, strong tīhore type. Most blades strip easily and cleanly into heavy fibre, although some of the para is inclined to adhere. A good piupiu harakeke óplenty of fibre, good length, dries hard and strong. When boiled, dries to a rich creamy biscuit colour. Unboiled, it has a greener tone.

The early Europeans would tear a strip from one of the long leaves for cordageóalmost impossible to break.

Muka extraction Source: Katarina Tawiri Muka extracts cleanly and para removes effortlessly. Great muka flax.
Raranga - unboiled Source: Katarina Tawiri Because of its ability to release fibre well, the edges fray and the whenu often split when being softened. Strong raranga flax.

Information sources:

Source: Rene Orchiston Rene Orchiston Source: Katarina Tawiri Katarina Tawiri Source: Rob Smissen Rob Smissen Source: Sue Scheele Sue Scheele

Ruawai

Cultivar No Source: Rene Orchiston 14
Source Source: Rene Orchiston Near Mt. Hikurangi. From Pine Taiapa, noted master carver of the Ngāti Porou.
Description Source: Rene Orchiston

Tall, rather bendy leaves. Bright, light blue-green blades. Silver-blue, powdery underside. Black margin and keel. Orange keel and black margin on young leaf. Silver-purple shadings at base of plant. Similar to the cultivar Kōhunga.

Uses Source: Rene Orchiston

Grown widely on the East Coast and prized for its long, white silky fibres of superior quality. Strips easily and cleanly. Ideal for whenu (warp) and aho (weft) for kaitaka, korowai and muka kete. Used in kaitaka kete as it dries white when boiled for one minute.

Babies on the East Coast were once placed in tightly woven baskets for almost the first year of their lives. They were covered with a bundle of silky muka fibres which could be changed and washed.

Muka extraction Source: Katarina Tawiri Muka extracts cleanly, para sticks to fibre. Medium to small amount of fibre.
Raranga - unboiled Source: Katarina Tawiri Easy to soften, edges do not fray. A good raranga flax.

Information sources:

Source: Rene Orchiston Rene Orchiston Source: Katarina Tawiri Katarina Tawiri Source: Rob Smissen Rob Smissen Source: Sue Scheele Sue Scheele

Taeore, Taiore

Cultivar No Source: Rene Orchiston 15
Source Source: Rene Orchiston Opunake, Maniapoto.
Description Source: Rene Orchiston

A fine variety. Tall, bendy, pale blue-green leaves, powdery blue on reverse. Similar to Kōhunga but finer and slightly more droopy. Black margins and keel. Plenty of very tall, light-weight flower heads.

Uses Source: Rene Orchiston

Easily stripped into long strands of strong, silky white fibre using haro method. Fibre used for aho in high quality cloaks. For kete, leaves dry to a pale fawn when boiled and a deeper colour when unboiled. Fibre in muka kete dries to a soft cream colour. Strips prepared for kete and whāriki will not shrink after being woven, if boiled or dragged through boiling water before weaving.

The stalks and seed pods have provided Rene with a fine range of apricot toned dyes for her handspun wool.

Muka extraction Source: Katarina Tawiri Muka extracts fairly easily but not cleanly. Leaf matter sticks to fibre especially around incision. Para removes easily. Rene Orchiston regards this flax as a muka cultivar. It could be because of the time of year or location (South Island) that our flax performs differently.
Raranga - unboiled Source: Katarina Tawiri Beautiful, soft, leathery. Great for raranga. When softening, tip of whenu sometimes splits.

Information sources:

Source: Rene Orchiston Rene Orchiston Source: Katarina Tawiri Katarina Tawiri Source: Rob Smissen Rob Smissen Source: Sue Scheele Sue Scheele

Takaiapu

Cultivar No Source: Rene Orchiston 49
Source Source: Rene Orchiston Hawke's Bay.
Description Source: Rene Orchiston

Tall, rather bendy, medium green leaves

Uses Source: Rene Orchiston

Good all purpose harakeke. Good whāriki variety. May be used for piupiu although para adheres slightly. Dries very hard and strong. Medium quantity of fibre. Dries to greenish-fawn when boiled for one minute and a deeper shade unboiled. Kelly, one of the Flax Commissioners in Taranaki (1870), said its very strong fibre was used for fishing lines.

Muka extraction Source: Katarina Tawiri Only small amount of muka extracts. Rest of fibre embedded in lower layers of leaf and cannot be extracted. Para sticks. Fibre weak and keeps breaking off.
Raranga - unboiled Source: Katarina Tawiri Whenu feel strong and are of good length and even thickness. A good flax for kete, whāriki and pīkau. Whenu soften well and are pliable.

Information sources:

Source: Rene Orchiston Rene Orchiston Source: Katarina Tawiri Katarina Tawiri Source: Rob Smissen Rob Smissen Source: Sue Scheele Sue Scheele

Taniwha

Cultivar No Source: Rene Orchiston 8
Source Source: Rene Orchiston Waiomatatini, East Coast. From the garden of the late Sir Apirana Ngata.
Description Source: Rene Orchiston

A handsome bronze coloured harakeke. Deep brown tones with crimson, almost translucent margins and markings along centre of blades. Sometimes known as the Blue Flax because of the distinct purply-blue bloom on the underside of the leaves and on the kōrari. The young flower stems on one small bush were almost navy-blue.

Uses Source: Rene Orchiston

Ornamentalómainly for garden display. Contrasts well when planted among other cultivars.

Muka extraction Source: Katarina Tawiri Unsuccessful muka extraction, keeps breaking. Small amount of weak fibre.
Raranga - unboiled Source: Katarina Tawiri Leaves wide, producing lots of whenu. Soft and pliable, good for beginners. Not much fibre, lacking strength. Dries yellow.

Information sources:

Source: Rene Orchiston Rene Orchiston Source: Katarina Tawiri Katarina Tawiri Source: Rob Smissen Rob Smissen Source: Sue Scheele Sue Scheele

Tapamangu

Cultivar No Source: Rene Orchiston 18
Source Source: Rene Orchiston Waiomatatini, East Coast.
Description Source: Rene Orchiston

Tapa – edge. Mangu – black. Medium height. Straight, narrow, strong, pale green blades. Black margin and keel. Very seldom flowers.

Uses Source: Rene Orchiston

A superior cultivar. Has always been grown on the East Coast. Seiferts Superior (S.S.), a cultivar once widely used by flax millers in the Manawatu, was bred from this plant. Most fibre per width of blade of any flaxes tested by Mrs Orchiston. Strips easily and cleanly into strong, shiny fibre. A very good piupiu variety. Dries very hard to a very pale cream. Strips tested for kete dried very white when boiled for one minute, and to a pale greenish cream when unboiled. Some Urewera women used the soft, shiny fibres of the young blades for very fine baby shawls and necklace ties.

Muka extraction Source: Katarina Tawiri Muka extracts easily and para removes effortlessly. Very much like Makaweroa. Fibre is clean and white, turning yellow towards tips in older leaves.
Raranga - unboiled Source: Katarina Tawiri Typical muka flax. Edges of whenu fray when softened. Whenu hard to soften, better suited for muka than raranga.

Information sources:

Source: Rene Orchiston Rene Orchiston Source: Katarina Tawiri Katarina Tawiri Source: Rob Smissen Rob Smissen Source: Sue Scheele Sue Scheele

Taumataua

Cultivar No Source: Rene Orchiston 33
Source Source: Rene Orchiston Urewera.
Description Source: Rene Orchiston

Tall, straight with wide, green, strong blades. Pale yellow keel and margins. Seldom sends up flower heads.

Uses Source: Rene Orchiston

Good for ladies piupiu because of the long blades. With care, will strip fairly easily into long strips of white silky fibre. For kete it dries to a pale fawn when boiled for one minute. Fawn when unboiled.

Muka extraction Source: Katarina Tawiri Muka extracts exceptionally cleanly. Para removes effortlessly. Fibre white, smooth and silky. Medium amount of fibre. Excellent muka flax
Raranga - unboiled Source: Katarina Tawiri Whenu soften easily. Edges fray and release muka strands. Typical muka flax reminding me of Makaweroa but with slightly less fibre.

Information sources:

Source: Rene Orchiston Rene Orchiston Source: Katarina Tawiri Katarina Tawiri Source: Rob Smissen Rob Smissen Source: Sue Scheele Sue Scheele

Te Mata

Cultivar No Source: Rene Orchiston 53
Source Source: Rene Orchiston Hawke's Bay.
Description Source: Rene Orchiston

Very tall, up to 3 m. Overall bush has a pinkish bronze appearance, as the young leaves have crimson coloured veining along the bronze leaf. Red margin and keel. No kōrari.

Uses Source: Rene Orchiston

Ornamental. Rather coarse fibre. May be good for whāriki because of its length. Dries darkish fawn.

Muka extraction Source: Katarina Tawiri Most whenu do not release muka easily and para sticks. Every now and then one whenu would release muka and para well.
Raranga - unboiled Source: Katarina Tawiri Lovely all-round flax. Long leaves, good whāriki flax. Also suitable for kete, pīkau and pōtae.

Information sources:

Source: Rene Orchiston Rene Orchiston Source: Katarina Tawiri Katarina Tawiri Source: Rob Smissen Rob Smissen Source: Sue Scheele Sue Scheele

Te Tatua

Cultivar No Source: Rene Orchiston 34
Source Source: Rene Orchiston Puha, near Te Karaka. From Tekani te Ua's garden.
Description Source: Rene Orchiston

Name means The Belt. Short, straight, strong, pointed medium green blades. Bright reddish-orange keel and margins. Plenty of very tall kōrari with short flower heads.

Uses Source: Rene Orchiston

Strips well. Good for strong kete. Chief Tupurupuru had a belt made from this harakeke, hence its name.

Muka extraction Source: Katarina Tawiri Muka extracts cleanly, para removes fairly well. Although there is a large amount of fibre in the leaf, only a medium amount can be extracted.
Raranga - unboiled Source: Katarina Tawiri Strong but still pliable flax. Edges fray slightly, whenu rather short but suitable for kete.

Information sources:

Source: Rene Orchiston Rene Orchiston Source: Katarina Tawiri Katarina Tawiri Source: Rob Smissen Rob Smissen Source: Sue Scheele Sue Scheele

Tukura

Cultivar No Source: Rene Orchiston 4
Source Source: Rene Orchiston Waihirere, Gisborne District.
Description Source: Rene Orchiston

A fine cultivar. Tall, very bendy leaves, soft but strong. Red margin and keel. Young leaves show reddish/brown shading at tips of blades. Grown in many districts under different names.

Uses Source: Rene Orchiston

Do not boil, but just drag through boiling water. Gum at base has definite healing properties and was used for treating burns.

Muka extraction Source: Katarina Tawiri Muka extracts well. Para removal requires slight scraping with knife.
Raranga - unboiled Source: Katarina Tawiri Good raranga flax. Good length of leaf, softens easily. Waxy quality when softened assists tight weave. Edges do not fray.

Information sources:

Source: Rene Orchiston Rene Orchiston Source: Katarina Tawiri Katarina Tawiri Source: Rob Smissen Rob Smissen Source: Sue Scheele Sue Scheele

Tupurupuru

Cultivar No Source: Rene Orchiston 2
Source Source: Rene Orchiston Gisborne, East Coast. Tupurupuru was a chief of Te Aitanga-a-Mahaki and lived about 12 km inland from Gisborne.
Description Source: Rene Orchiston

Medium to tall in height, slightly bendy. Leaves dull olive green, soft, but strong. Chocolate-coloured margin and keel. 4–8 cm of brownish smudging at the tips of the young blades (Anderson, 1907, suggests "for the length of a fingerî). Tall, pointed seed pods.

Notes Source: Rene Orchiston Known as Tarariki in Taranaki District.
Uses Source: Rene Orchiston

Ordinary purposes, kete, whāriki. The long blades are suitable for whāriki if just dragged through boiling water, not boiled.

Muka extraction Source: Katarina Tawiri Medium amount of muka and para removes easily.
Raranga - unboiled Source: Katarina Tawiri Rather narrow leaves producing long whenu. Soft and pliable. Whenu are smooth and slippery. So hard to keep tension. Could be good whāriki flax.

Information sources:

Source: Rene Orchiston Rene Orchiston Source: Katarina Tawiri Katarina Tawiri Source: Rob Smissen Rob Smissen Source: Sue Scheele Sue Scheele

Turingawari

Cultivar No Source: Rene Orchiston 7
Source Source: Rene Orchiston Tauwhareparae. Ngati Porou.
Description Source: Rene Orchiston

Turi – knee. Ngawari – soft. A tall, soft, bendy harakeke. Margin and keel reddish brown with light shading on tips of young leaves.

Uses Source: Rene Orchiston

Kete harakeke. Easy to work. Do not boil.

Muka extraction Source: Katarina Tawiri Small amount of muka extracts cleanly and para removes easily. Muka seems to be strong.
Raranga - unboiled Source: Katarina Tawiri Soft, leathery harakeke. Whenu feel strong. Enjoyable raranga flax.

Information sources:

Source: Rene Orchiston Rene Orchiston Source: Katarina Tawiri Katarina Tawiri Source: Rob Smissen Rob Smissen Source: Sue Scheele Sue Scheele

Tākirikau

Cultivar No Source: Rene Orchiston 5
Source Source: Rene Orchiston Tauwhareparae, East Coast.
Description Source: Rene Orchiston

A favourite of the Ngāti Porou. The term tākirikau (like tīhore) is applied to all the finer cultivars of flax which can be stripped of fibre without the use of a shell (i.e., with the fingers only).

A very handsome harakeke, growing at times up to 3 metres high. Straight, very strong, pale yellowy-green leaves. Bright yellow-orange margin and keel. Small number of very high, heavy kōrari.

Uses Source: Rene Orchiston

A real whītau harakeke, producing long strands of strong, shiny fibre. Could be good for strong whenu (warp) in weaving. Very good piupiu variety, particularly for ladies piupiuóeasy to prepare, has plenty of length and dries hard and very strong. Dries to a pale clear yellowy cream when boiled for one minute. Unboiled, has a little more greenish tone.

Muka extraction Source: Katarina Tawiri Muka extracts effortlessly and cleanly. Para removes easily.
Raranga - unboiled Source: Katarina Tawiri Even while harvesting, leaves feel soft, leathery, and pliable. Dead leaves also feel soft. Similar to Kōhunga. Edges fray, strands of muka keep separating from whenu when softening.

Information sources:

Source: Rene Orchiston Rene Orchiston Source: Katarina Tawiri Katarina Tawiri Source: Rob Smissen Rob Smissen Source: Sue Scheele Sue Scheele

Tāne-ā-wai

Cultivar No Source: Rene Orchiston 28
Source Source: Rene Orchiston Tikitiki, East Coast.
Description Source: Rene Orchiston

Medium height, rather bendy, wide blades. Brown margins and keel.

Uses Source: Rene Orchiston

Used mainly in green kete. Better not boiled.

Muka extraction Source: Katarina Tawiri Muka extracts well, but lots of green leaf matter sticks to fibre. Para sticks hard. Medium amount of fibre.
Raranga - unboiled Source: Katarina Tawiri Leaves produce exceptionally long whenu. Easy to soften and of equal thickness. Could be good whāriki flax. Might work well for beginners as is soft. Whenu quite slippery, hard to keep tension.

Information sources:

Source: Rene Orchiston Rene Orchiston Source: Katarina Tawiri Katarina Tawiri Source: Rob Smissen Rob Smissen Source: Sue Scheele Sue Scheele

Tāpoto

Cultivar No Source: Rene Orchiston 27
Source Source: Rene Orchiston Taihoa Pa, Hawke´s Bay.
Description Source: Rene Orchiston

A real tīhore variety and one of the favourites of Hawke's Bay Māori. Once prevalent where Havelock North now stands. Strong, straight, short narrow blades tapering to a sharp point. Pale yellow-green leaves with bright orange keel and margins. Very fine, tall flower stalks. Similar to Tākirikau, but generally smaller.

Many early records enthuse about this harakeke. It was often given the synonym 'Oue' but is a very different harakeke to the 'Oue' in this collection. Recognised for its beautiful glossy fibre. Heaphy (Flax Commissioners Report 1870) says that "some of this flax was manufactured in France into fabrics, that resembled fine jean and silk in delicacy of gloss. The Oue is frequently planted by the natives in borders to divide small cultivations near a village, and where it is convenient for occasional use in mat-making. In this case it constitutes quite a property. It may be seen in the cultivations at Coromandel harbour, Kawhia, and the Waikato.

Uses Source: Rene Orchiston

Muka variety. Strips easily and cleanly into long, shiny, white fibre, brittle but very strong. Very good piupiu harakeke. Dries very hard to a pale cream colour. Used for kaitaka, whāriki and kete.

Muka extraction Source: Katarina Tawiri Muka extracts well, some leaf matter sticks to fibre. Para removes well. Fibre is dull and easily "fluffs" up when cleaned. Fibre feels strong.
Raranga - unboiled Source: Katarina Tawiri When softening, whenu often split lengthwise and edges fray. It performs like a typical muka flax, only fibre doesn't release well. Whenu once softened are waxy and keep tension well. Thick butt ends and thin tips make for uneven weaving.

Information sources:

Source: Rene Orchiston Rene Orchiston Source: Katarina Tawiri Katarina Tawiri Source: Rob Smissen Rob Smissen Source: Sue Scheele Sue Scheele

Tārere

Cultivar No Source: Rene Orchiston 40
Source Source: Rene Orchiston Tairawhiti (East Coast).
Description Source: Rene Orchiston

Short, bendy, bright yellow-green blades, giving the bush a yellowish appearance.

Uses Source: Rene Orchiston

Very valuable for kete as it dries to a clear yellow when boiled for half a minute. Gives good contrast for patterns when used with other cultivars. When unboiled, it dries to rich bronze-golden shades. Not a muka variety.

Muka extraction Source: Katarina Tawiri Small amount of fine muka. Often breaks off because of weak fibre.
Raranga - unboiled Source: Katarina Tawiri Beautiful raranga flax, reminding me of Mawaru. Easy to soften, pliable, good for beginners. Whenu very yellow towards tip. Some whenu brake when softening. For small projects where no strength is required.

Information sources:

Source: Rene Orchiston Rene Orchiston Source: Katarina Tawiri Katarina Tawiri Source: Rob Smissen Rob Smissen Source: Sue Scheele Sue Scheele

Tūtaewheke

Cultivar No Source: Rene Orchiston 17
Source Source: Rene Orchiston Botanic Gardens, Wellington. Sent from Taranaki in 1870. Identified again by Mrs Orchiston in 1972
Description Source: Rene Orchiston

A distinctive cultivar, with the mature bush having an overall inky blue appearance, the colour of the fluid ejected by the octopus to camouflage itself when under attackóhence the name. Medium to tall, with rather bendy blades. Black keel and margins on older blades, with dark, streaky bronze colourings on upperside. Tawny-red margins and veining in the young leaves. The young bush has a yellowy-bronze appearance.

Uses Source: Rene Orchiston

Not best for muka, though some of the older blades strip fairly easily.

Muka extraction Source: Katarina Tawiri Muka extracts cleanly all the way to tip of leaf. Para removes easily. Medium amount of long and strong fibre.
Raranga - unboiled Source: Katarina Tawiri Whenu hard to soften, especially butt end. Once softened, lovely and pliable. Finished green kete has satiny shine to it. Older leaves turn yellow.

Information sources:

Source: Rene Orchiston Rene Orchiston Source: Katarina Tawiri Katarina Tawiri Source: Rob Smissen Rob Smissen Source: Sue Scheele Sue Scheele

Unknown – ´Te Aue Davis´

Cultivar No Source: Rene Orchiston 47
Source Source: Rene Orchiston Sent to Mrs Orchiston by Te Aue Davis.
Description Source: Rene Orchiston

Very similar to Tapamangu. Very black margin and keel.

Uses Source: Rene Orchiston

A very fine muka cultivar.

Muka extraction Source: Katarina Tawiri Muka extracts well, para removes easily. Contains large amount of fibre.
Raranga - unboiled Source: Katarina Tawiri Whenu hard to soften. Edges fray, whenu easily split lengthwise, typical muka flax. Once softened, whenu are nice and waxy for raranga. Strong raranga flax.

Information sources:

Source: Rene Orchiston Rene Orchiston Source: Katarina Tawiri Katarina Tawiri Source: Rob Smissen Rob Smissen Source: Sue Scheele Sue Scheele

Waihirere

Cultivar No Source: Rene Orchiston 63
Source Source: Rene Orchiston
Description Source: Rene Orchiston

Tall, rather bendy, blue-green blades. Dark brownish margin and keel.

Uses Source: Rene Orchiston

Good kete harakeke. Goes white and stays shiny after being boiled for one minute. Not good for muka.

Muka extraction Source: Katarina Tawiri Muka extracts fairly cleanly. Para sticks to fibre.
Raranga - unboiled Source: Katarina Tawiri Good raranga flax. Easy to soften, leaves of medium length.

Information sources:

Source: Rene Orchiston Rene Orchiston Source: Katarina Tawiri Katarina Tawiri Source: Rob Smissen Rob Smissen Source: Sue Scheele Sue Scheele

Whakaari

Cultivar No Source: Rene Orchiston 44
Source Source: Rene Orchiston Urewera.
Description Source: Rene Orchiston

An unusual little wharariki. Medium height, short, strong blades, which shape into a narrow neck about 15 cm from the tips. No colour on margin and keel. Medium green, dull leaves, not shiny like usual wharariki. Twisted droopy flower heads.

Notes Source: Rene Orchiston (Phormium cookianum)
Uses Source: Rene Orchiston

Not really a piupiu variety, but could be used for short piupiu, as it has a strong blade which dries hard. The para falls off fairly easily. Good for strong, green kete. Dries to a pale greenish-fawn when boiled for one minute, and to a deeper colour unboiled.


Information sources:

Source: Rene Orchiston Rene Orchiston Source: Katarina Tawiri Katarina Tawiri Source: Rob Smissen Rob Smissen Source: Sue Scheele Sue Scheele

Wharanui

Cultivar No Source: Rene Orchiston 11
Source Source: Rene Orchiston Urewera.
Description Source: Rene Orchiston

Very tall, broad blades, soft but fairly strong. Pale green. In spring, kōrari are very purple and produce very tall, thin flower heads. In some old records, Wharanui is described as the common, coarse flax. On the East Coast it is known as a fine cultivar.

Uses Source: Rene Orchiston

Soft and easy to use. Ideal for learners. Do not boil. An old lady in the Urewera told Rene that, with care, soft fibre may be produced. It was used for fine cloaks and baby wraps. A fine kete made with this harakeke looked like kiekie (Freycinetia baueriana).

Muka extraction Source: Katarina Tawiri Muka extracts well, para sticks. Produces medium amount of very soft fibre.
Raranga - unboiled Source: Katarina Tawiri Leaf tips are easily split and damaged by wind. Soft and pliable leaves, ideal for beginners and small projects.

Information sources:

Source: Rene Orchiston Rene Orchiston Source: Katarina Tawiri Katarina Tawiri Source: Rob Smissen Rob Smissen Source: Sue Scheele Sue Scheele

Wharariki

Cultivar No Source: Rene Orchiston 62
Source Source: Rene Orchiston
Description Source: Rene Orchiston

Short to medium height. Shiny, pale leaves. Long seed pods which droop and are slightly twisted.

Notes Source: Rene Orchiston (Phormium cookianum)
Uses Source: Rene Orchiston

Better quality fibre than other wharariki. When woven into a soft kete, dries slightly yellow.

Muka extraction Source: Katarina Tawiri Small amount of weak muka. Para and some leaf matter sticks to fibre.
Raranga - unboiled Source: Katarina Tawiri Great beginner's flax. Whenu soften easily, are pliable and shiny. Works well for small objects like putiputi, earrings, bracelets, belts, etc. Not strong enough for kete.

Information sources:

Source: Rene Orchiston Rene Orchiston Source: Katarina Tawiri Katarina Tawiri Source: Rob Smissen Rob Smissen Source: Sue Scheele Sue Scheele

Wharariki

Cultivar No Source: Rene Orchiston 41
Source Source: Rene Orchiston Tairawhiti (East Coast).
Description Source: Rene Orchiston

A tall cultivar of Phormium cookianum. Slightly bendy, soft, medium green blades. Hardly any colour on the margins and keel (greenish-white). High flower stalks with yellow flowers and lightweight pendulous seed pods.

Notes Source: Rene Orchiston (Phormium cookianum)
Uses Source: Rene Orchiston

Used for soft baskets, rourou, toys. Good for beginners as it is very soft to work with. A fine kete made from this had the appearance of soft kiekie. The strips were not boiled but dragged quickly through boiling water.

Muka extraction Source: Katarina Tawiri Small amount of muka extracts cleanly, but not so well towards tip of whenu. Very thin at tip, fibre often breaks. Para sticks. Fibre dull and fluffy.
Raranga - unboiled Source: Katarina Tawiri Leaves stronger and thicker than Wharariki 62, darker, more upright. Whenu are not as slippery and shiny as other Phormium cookianum. Appearance very yellow-green.

Information sources:

Source: Rene Orchiston Rene Orchiston Source: Katarina Tawiri Katarina Tawiri Source: Rob Smissen Rob Smissen Source: Sue Scheele Sue Scheele

Whareongaonga

Cultivar No Source: Rene Orchiston 36
Source Source: Rene Orchiston Tawatapu district, south of Gisborne.
Description Source: Rene Orchiston

Short to medium height. Straight, strong, narrow, tapered, yellow-green blades. Orange margin and keel. Similar to, but not as strong as Tāpoto. Very few, small flower heads.

Uses Source: Rene Orchiston

Abundant, shiny, very strong but brittle fibre. May be used for piupiu but not as strong as other varieties. Cleans easily of para. Dries white.

Muka extraction Source: Katarina Tawiri Muka extracts fairly well. Some leaf matter sticks to fibre. Para removes effortlessly and fibre is silky, strong and a white-greenish colour. Medium to large amount of fibre.
Raranga - unboiled Source: Katarina Tawiri Lovely raranga flax. Whenu soften well, lots of fibre makes for strong raranga. Only disadvantage is lack of length.

Information sources:

Source: Rene Orchiston Rene Orchiston Source: Katarina Tawiri Katarina Tawiri Source: Rob Smissen Rob Smissen Source: Sue Scheele Sue Scheele