Dunedin Botanic Garden has a whau tree in a sheltered spot in their Native Collection. I took these photos on 04 April. The mature leaves are soft in texture and the same size as my hand, and the tree has very spiny seed capsules. Entelea arborescens or cork tree. New Zealand.

‘Wh’ is an ‘f’ sound. Whau is said ‘faux’ i.e. rhymes with tow.
You can listen to the pronunciation at the Māori Dictionary: whau

Click on any photo to enlarge.

The leaves have long stems!

Robert Vennell “The Meaning of Trees” did a fascinating post about whau

Text and photos by Liz; Exploring Colour (2022)

10 thoughts on “Whau

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  1. Whoah! My mind is completely blown by the fact that “wh” sounds like “f.” I had to follow the link that you provided, Liz, and sure enough, “whau” is pronounced like “faux.” I love languages, but suspect that it is a real challenge to learn to speak in the Māori language.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Sadly I’m only an English speaker but I learned the Māori vowel sounds in school and the basics of how consonants sound. There’s a tricky ‘ng’ that shows up a lot in words. I get confused on which syllables are stressed but it’s a beautiful language to listen to when you hear it spoken fluently! I love your response Mike and thanks for visiting the link.


    1. Goodness Louella, you’re still battling the elements! ~no wonder you’re well and truly ready for a change.. hang in there my friend, spring will soon prevail 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

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