The name "manuka" is the Maori name for the tree whose nectar produces manuka honey. The manuka tree belongs to the myrtle (Myrtaceae) family and is related to the Australian tea tree. The hardy plant can thrive in lowlands and at sub-alpine heights alike. The tree, which is now known for its honey and essential oil, has been used traditionally by the Maori for thousands of years. The honey is obtained from the nectar of the white manuka flowers.