Latin name: Myoporum laetum
Medicinal use of Ngaio:Odontalgic, vulnerary. The bark is used to treat ulcers.
Description of the plant:
Habitat of the herb:Usually found by the coast, often to the high tide mark, it is also found in lowland forests on North, South and Chatham Islands south to latitude 46°s.
Edible parts of Ngaio:Fruit - raw or cooked. The fruit is about 6 - 9mm in diameter. Some caution is advised, see notes above on possible toxicity.
Other uses of the herb:A decoction of the leaves is used as an insect repellent. It is effective against mosquitoes.
Propagation of Ngaio:Seed - sow spring in a greenhouse. When they are large enough to handle, prick the seedlings out into individual pots and grow them on in the greenhouse for at least their first winter. Plant them out into their permanent positions in late spring or early summer, after the last expected frosts. Consider giving the plants some protection from the cold for their first few winters outdoors. Cuttings of half-ripe wood, 5 - 10cm with a heel, July/August in a frame. Pot up in the autumn. Good percentage.
Cultivation of the herb:Usually found by the coast, often to the high tide mark, it is also found in lowland forests on North, South and Chatham Islands south to latitude 46°s.
Known hazards of Myoporum laetum:All parts of the plant contain a liver toxin.
Plant information taken from the Plants For A Future.