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New Zealand pohutukawa

Metrosideros excelsa, with common names pōhutukawa or New Zealand pohutukawa. Is a coastal evergreen tree in the myrtle family, Myrtaceae, that produces a brilliant display of red (or occasionally orange, yellow or white) flowers made up of a mass of stamens. The pōhutukawa is one of twelve Metrosideros species endemic to New Zealand. Renowned for its vibrant colour and its ability to survive even perched on rocky, precarious cliffs.

The pōhutukawa grows up to 25 metres (82 ft) high, with a spreading, dome-like form. It usually grows as a multi-trunked spreading tree. Its trunks and branches are sometimes festooned with matted, fibrous aerial roots. The oblong, leathery leaves are covered in dense white hairs underneath.

The tree flowers from November to January with a peak in mid to late December (the Southern Hemisphere summer), with brilliant crimson flowers covering the tree, hence the nickname New Zealand Christmas tree. There is variation between individual trees in the timing of flowering, and in the shade and brightness of the flowers.

  • Category Outdoor foliage plants
  • Genus Metrosideros
  • Species excelsa
  • Families Myrtaceae
  • Habit Tree
  • Climatic Zones Sub-tropical, USDA 10 b (Southern Italy and islands)
  • Leaves Evergreen
  • Flower Corymb
  • Geographical Area of Origin Oceania
  • Flowering and Fruiting Period August / July / June
  • Form Touffe / Grown as shrub / bush / Column
  • Colore Fiori Giallo   Rosso
  • Colore Foglie Verde   Grigio
  • Colore Frutti Marrone
  • Favorite soil Sub-acid / medium acid / Middle-Dough / Medium soil
  • Water needs Medium
  • Light Exposure Full light / Full sun / Medium shade / Half shade
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