Local flora; Putaputaweta

Putaputaweta, Carpodetus serratus is a small spreading tree with dark green marbled leaves and small white flowers in spring.



A young tree, about 3 meters tall with flowers.

From T.E.R.R.A.I.N Taranaki Educational Resource; Research Analysis and Information Network

The Maori name “Putaputaweta” means “many wetas” and refers to wetas living in the holes left by Puriri moth larvae.

This plant is host to the puriri moth (Aenetus virescens) and there is an interesting association with its caterpillars that live in Putaputaweta trees. The worker ants of the species Prolasius advenus (The small brown bush ant) feed on sap exposed by the wound created in the callus tissue of the tree by the moth larvae.

Few traditional Maori uses of this plant have been recorded. Its white open grained wood is strong and elastic and was used by early bushmen for axe and tool handles and for fence rails.

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