Alter-natives Wholesale Nursery

Alectryon excelsus
Titoki, NZ Ash


A lowland forest tree growing 7-10m high.  It has a distinctive black seed partially covered with bright red flesh bursting from a capsule usually in spring attracting birds. Occurs naturally around streams and lowlands. Excellent specimen/shade tree on the lawn or in corners of paddocks for stock to shelter under. 

Meaning of the name: (from meanings & origins of botanical names of NZ plants, by Marie Taylor)

Alectryon Gk. alektryon, a cock, which Wall & Allan (1950) derived from the resemblance of the scarlet aril (the flesh fruit) to a cock's comb.  Godley has researched the orginal Gaertner paper where no explanation of the name is given; but the original illustration clearly shows the shape of the undehisced capsules furnished with crest and beak, very like a cock's head (Godley 1997).

excelsus "tall, eminent". Lat. excelsus, lofty, high; from excellere, to rise, be superior.

Maori names for Cordyline australis: (Most commonly used name/s first & underlined.  Region or tribal use if known in brackets.)

titoki, tokitoki, titongi, tongitongi, tapitapi, topitopi.

Page updated 14 June 2011.

9cm tubes
Top view of young plants.
20 x 9cm tubes



Titoki. Red fruit swelling and bursting out of pods with black seeds on the end. Fruiting varies from year to year and plant to plant. 

In Northland it is usually some time between September and February.  Tui and wood pigeon love these.

PB8 grade
PB3 grade


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