POHUTUKAWA TREE IN NEW ZEALAND
Pohutukawa are known as New
Zealand's native Christmas tree because of the bright red blooms which
decorate the trees during the Christmas/summer season. They trigger
memories of long summer days and
holidays spent with friends and family in, or around and under these
Pohutukawa and rata belong to the myrtle family (Myrtaceae) which is
made up of about 3000 different
tropical and warm temperate trees, shrubs and vines. Eucalyptus,
feijoas, cloves, guavas and bottlebrushes.
In New Zealand myrtles are represented by some of our best known plants:
kanuka, manuka and some less
familiar, but nevertheless significant like swamp maire and ramarama.
Both pohutukawa and rata belong to the genus Metrosideros, the iron
hearted myrtles, a reference to
their hard, very heavy, dark red heartwood.
There are two native pohutukawa (mainland and Kermadec) and six species
of rata vine, a shrub and
three tree rata.
prefer the above picture in a pop-up, filling the screen -
Close up of the red blooms - Click on the small picture to enlarge
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