Hutu (Ascarina lucida var. lucida)
Hutu is a small tree with a very scattered distribution in the North Island. It is on the West Coast of the South Island and has its largest Taranaki population at Cold Creek on the southwestern side of Mt Taranaki. Its leaves are glossy, yellow green, with coarse black-tipped teeth on margins. Its flowers are pinkish and occur in sprays.
Hutu was abundant in Taranaki 10,000 years ago during a period of warmer climate and declined from about 5000 years ago when the climate became cooler and more variable.
At Cold Creek hutu is found on the western bush edges where substantial tracking and logging disturbance occurred prior to the area being added to the park. As the habitat recovers there may be changes in the species abundance and distribution.