Found growing throughout New Zealand mainly in lowland swamps.
Medicinal use: The sticky gum is used as an external treatment for boils, toothache, wounds, burns, eczema and scalds. Leaves can be used as a dressing for broken bones. Pounded leaves can be used as a dressing. The juice of the root acts as
a disinfectant for wounds. A poultice of the root was used to treat intestinal worms, ringworm and constipation.
Other uses: Harakeke is widely used for weaving mats, clothing, bags (kete), bowls (kono). In the past Aotearoa had a successful flax industry where it would be grown in large amounts and exported overseas to be into durable ropes for ships. Harakeke has also been made into bird snares, fishing lines, woven sails and toys/instruments for children’s amusement. Juice of the root has been used as ink where the gum was used to seal letters. Floats and rafts have been made from the flower stalks. Nectar from the flowers was used to sweeten drinks and food such as para ti.