This common plant is found throughout New Zealand in lowland forest. Kawakawa is a distinctive plant because of its heart-shaped leaves often riddled with holes from insect damage.

Kawakawa has been recorded as being used internally to tone the kidneys and help with stomach problems. Externally it was used for cuts, wounds, boils, abscesses, and nettle stings. It was also used for rheumatism and other aches and pains including toothache. When kawakawa is thrown on a campfire and burnt it reputedly keeps mosquitoes away.

Read more about Kawakawa in Te Papa's Collections Online