24 December 2013

Pōhutukawa in flower

Pōhutukawa is a native tree with the nickname of New Zealand Christmas Tree because it flowers like this around Christmas time.

photo © Jenny Mespel

Metrosideros excelsa (pōhutukawa, New Zealand pohutukawa, New Zealand Christmas tree) is a coastal evergreen tree in the myrtle family that produces a brilliant display of red flowers made up of a mass of stamens. The pōhutukawa is one of 12 Metrosideros species endemic to New Zealand. Renowned for its vibrant colour and its ability to survive even perched on rocky, precarious cliffs, it has found an important place in New Zealand culture for its strength and beauty and is regarded as a chiefly tree (rākau rangatira) by Māori. The blossom of the tree is called kahika.

Have a great day: merry Christmas!