the real new zealand christmas tree

pōhutukawa is a new zealand native evergreen that produces amazingly vibrant red flowers each year from november to january with a peak in late december.

accordingly it is referred to as the new zealand christmas tree.

quite stunning.



the flowers are actually a mass of stamens.

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the first tree is at the bottom of the tiber street steps and send me off and welcomes me home each day. the second shot is from my evening bus stop. i’m looking down the parade down to the ocean. you can see the Pōhutukawa’s lining the parade.

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when the season ends the ground is covered in a blanket of red. we saw this yellow flowering variety at the zoo. i’ve since learned that they are cultivated from a lonely pair of yellow’s found 1940 on mōtiti island in the bay of plenty. explained as genetic drift.

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