In common with most New Zealand native trees, the Māori name is now preferred for English use. It was formerly known as New Zealand oak.
Alectryon excelsus is a canopy tree growing to 9 m (30 ft) in height. It has a twisting trunk with smooth dark bark, spreading branches and pinnate leaves.
Alectryon excelsus produces small purple flowers in spring and the seeds take up to a year to mature. The colourful seed is initially contained in a hairy woody capsule which splits revealing bright red and black unpalatable fruit (the black portion being the seed). The fruit is a favourite food of the New Zealand wood pigeon.
Media related to Tītoki at Wikimedia Commons