In spring, birds – especially the tui – flock to feed on the nectar of the harakeke flowers, blooming on top of stems that are up to 4.5 metres long. By carrying pollen from plant to plant, the birds help flax to produce seeds in long pods.
Make a brew by roasting the seeds and then grinding them. Brew the ground seeds in hot water, simmering for 30 minutes. Strain, then enjoy the sweet drink - harakeke 'coffee' might be your new favourite drink.
In Māori sayings and songs, flax can be a metaphor for family bonds and human relationships. Flax is a national emblem and a plant that many New Zealanders associate strongly with Aotearoa.
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