Definition of kowhai in English:


Line breaks: kow¦hai
Pronunciation: /ˈkəʊwʌɪ
, ˈkɔːfʌɪ


  • A tree of the pea family, which bears hanging clusters of yellow flowers. It is native to New Zealand and Chile and yields useful timber.
    • Sophora tetraptera, family Leguminosae
    More example sentences
    • At the end of the book, a kowhai is planted, a reminder of the bush that once covered the hill.
    • Because they eat the new growth they have destroyed large areas of native rata, totara, titoki, kowhai and other species.
    • To see a stand of mature red beech and also kowhai, fuchsia and rata trees choose Bob's Cove Bridle Track, a walk that takes 1.5 hours.


mid 19th century: from Maori.

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