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Pohutukawa Tree
• The New Zealand Christmas Tree •

 

 

The Pohutukawa tree's scientific name is Metrosideros (ironwood = hard timber) excelsa (tall).

The Pohutukawa tree is possibly one of the best known and most loved New Zealand native trees. Although the Pohutukawa has its natural range in the North Island, it can be found planted throughout New Zealand in coastal areas wherever frosts are not severe.

Pohutukawa flowers are bright red, smothering the tree in December, hence its common name: the New Zealand Christmas Tree.

Growing to 15m tall in old age, the Pohutukawa will retain a shrubbier form for many years. Indeed it can be clipped into an attractive yet robust coastal hedge.

Many Pohutukawa trees are threatened in their natural habitat by possum damage and pressure from people. Project Crimson is a conservation initiative moving towards protecting these trees along with other Metrosideros species - tree and vine rata.

The Pohutukawa's beauty is augmented as a garden or landscape tree by its tolerance of poor soils, salt-laden winds and inhospitable dry sunny sites. Many Pohutukawa cultivars have been bred by New Zealand nurseryman, ranging in habit, foliage form and flower colour.

Why not try something different this Christmas… instead of bringing out the plastic tree, or buying a sad-looking pine, why not plant your very own New Zealand Christmas Tree which will last for many a Christmas to come!

 

Pohutukawa flowers

Pohutukawa flowers Pohutukawa flowers Pohutukawa flowers

Pohutukawa seeds, foliage and buds

Pohutukawa seeds Pohutukawa foliage and buds

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