Herb: Tarata

Latin name: Pittosporum eugenioides

Family: Pittosporaceae

Medicinal use of Tarata:


Description of the plant:


10 m
(33 feet)

to May

Habitat of the herb:

Lowland and montane forests, North and South Islands.

Edible parts of Tarata:

A resin obtained by incision or bruising the bark is used as a chewing gum.

Other uses of the herb:

The resin is also used as a hair oil, in pot pourri and to treat halitosis.

Propagation of Tarata:

Seed - sow when ripe in the autumn or in late winter in a warm greenhouse. The seed usually germinates freely. Prick out the seedlings into individual pots when they are large enough to handle, move the plants to a cold frame as soon as they are established and plant out late in the following spring. Consider giving them some protection from the cold during their first winter outdoors. Cuttings of half-ripe wood, 5 - 7cm with a heel, July/August in a frame. Poor to fair percentage. Basal ripewood cuttings late autumn in a cold frame.

Cultivation of the herb:

Lowland and montane forests, North and South Islands.

Known hazards of Pittosporum eugenioides:

Although no mention has been found for this species, some members of this genus contain saponins. Saponins are found in many foods, such as some beans, and although they are fairly toxic to people they are poorly absorbed by the body and most pass straight through without any problem. They are also broken down if the food is thoroughly cooked for a long time.

Plant information taken from the Plants For A Future.