In many parts of the world, some flowers are more popular than others. Roses, tulips, lilies, and cherries are some of the most popular flowers in England, the Netherlands, France, and Japan, for example. While such beautiful flowers are popular in many countries, the most popular in New Zealand is the native kohai.
Although New Zealand does not currently have an official national flower, the kohai flower is their unofficial national flower. However, the kohai flower has become popular in New Zealand because of its many benefits, rather than its beauty.
General characteristics of the kohai plant
The kohai plant, which usually grows to a height of about 8 m, produces a yellow flower. The plant has small leaves. Flowering semi-deciduous, it blooms between July and November. Various insects and birds come to drink the nectar of these flowers. Nitrogen fixation is done by the roots of this legume. Hence the kohai plant is known as an eco-friendly plant. Also, each part of this plant can have different benefits. The Mori, who have lived here since ancient times, have benefited greatly from the kohai plant.
How the Mori Aborigines benefited from the kohai plant
Kohai has long been considered a sacred plant by the Mori people in New Zealand. That’s because they were able to get a lot of benefits from the kohai plant. So the Mori people planted kohai trees near shrines and in settlements.
At that time, the Mori people used the wood of the kohai tree to make houses and furniture because of its toughness and durability. Kohai wood was also used to make strong fences around houses. Also, billy hooks made from kohai roots were found in the homes of every Mrori.
Benefiting from the wood of the kohai plant, the Mrori people used the bark and fruit of the plant as medicine. He was given various medicines made from kohai bark and nuts for diseases like bruises, cuts, colds, sexually transmitted diseases and sore throats. The medicines were made according to the traditional recipes of the Mරිori people. The Mඕori also used to make yellow and brown using the flowers, twigs, and bark of this valuable plant. They used to paint the furniture of their houses with the colors created in this manner.
In addition, they used the seeds of coho nuts to make poisonous drinks to kill their enemies.
How the whole world knew about the kohai plant
In 1642, the Dutch explorer Abel Tasman first arrived in New Zealand. It was not until his arrival in 1769 that a European returned to New Zealand. But in 1769 a group including Captain James Cook arrived in New Zealand. Two botanists, Joseph Banks and Daniel Solander, also took part in the expedition. During a visit to New Zealand, Cook and his group saw a wonderful yellow-flowered plant. Two botanists, Banks and Solander, had never seen such a plant before.
The two botanists observed that there were two different varieties of this plant. But they both realized that a laboratory test was needed to identify the differences. So Banks and Solander, two botanists, took parts of different kohai plants to Europe. After researching parts of the Daniel Solder coho plant, he identified several different species.
After the success of Solander’s research, he began writing a book on his findings. But with his untimely death the work on the book stopped. Later, Philip Miller, the director of the Botanic Gardens, conducted research on the kohai plant. Thereafter, William Ayton, Miller ‘s assistant, continued his research. The research on the kohai plant has been carried out by various individuals for the last two centuries. Among those who researched cohoi were Joseph Hooker, George Bentham, George Simpson, John Thompson, Harry Allen, GP Yakovlev, Astroopter, Tsong Poo-Chiu, Ma Chi-yun, Peter Lang, and Peter Heenan.
Kowai varieties identified today
After centuries of research into the Kohai plant, nine different plant species have been identified. Today, coho is found not only in New Zealand but also in Asia, South America, and some parts of North America. Also, various species of kohai can be found in Australia. Below are 8 species of kohai that have been identified.
1) Sophora chathamica
2) Sophora fulvida
3) Sophora godleyi
4) Sophora longicarinata
5) Sophora microphylla
6) Sophora molloyi
7) Sophora prostrata
8) Sophora tetraptera
Used as a cultural and national symbol of New Zealand
New Zealanders consider the kohai flower to be a sacred flower. As such, the kohai flower has been incorporated into local art. There are also some New Zealand folk tales and stories related to the kohai flower. Some New Zealand postage stamps also include images of the Kohai flower because of its national significance.
In addition, the two cent coin issued around 1967 featured an image of a kohai flower on the back. The $ 1 coin, which was later issued, also included the kohai flower and the kiwi bird.