John McLennan, New Zealand

4 pictures for you N Z Christmas .

December 20, 2010
By

Category: General

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Hi  Daffnetters  ,
 
Merry  Christmas and  seasons  greetings  to  all  our  Daffnet  members  ..
 
We  have  our  N Z  Christmas  tree just starting  to  flower  here  in time  for Christmas  .
 
Metrosideros  excelsa  is  called  the  New  Zealand  Christmas  tree  and  will  be starting  to 
flower  in  most  North  Island  areas  about now  .
It  is  a  N Z  native  ,  a great  salt  proof  coastal  tree  and when  in full bloom  ,  is a spectacular 
site ; a  mass  of  crimson  red  bunches  of flowers  .
The  openning  buds  are  marketed  as  florist flowers ,popular  for  Christmas  arrangements  , and
open  well  from bud  . Many  selections are now  available  in  slightly  different colours and  growth  styles  .
The  northern  beaches  in particular  are  bordered  by  these  great  shade  trees  and  they  make 
great coastal shelter  belts  as  they respond  well  to  trimming .
The  young  growth  can  be  a  little  frost  tender  but  when  established  can  withstand  moderate 
inland  frosts  .The  South  Island  weather  is  often  a  little  cool  for then  but  a  cousin  ,  the  Southern
Rata  ,  provides  similar  colour displays  .
 
The  Maori name  is  PohutuKawa  —  meaning  ” drenched  with  spray  ”  —  a  true  reference  to  their
ability  to  survive  right  by  the  sea  —  and  tolerate the worst  sea  spray  .
Maori  traditon  has  it  that if  they  flower  early  –well  before  Christmas ,  it  will  be  a long  , hot  summer ..
Looks like  just  an  average  summer  as  they  are certainly  not  early  …
 
Always  a  great Christmas  favourite  ,  photos  taken locally  today  ..
 
Summer Solstice  in  New  Zealand  at  12 – 38  p m  ,  Wednesday  22  December  .
 
Merry  Christmas  —  John  McLennan  —  jfmdaffs  .

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3 responses to “4 pictures for you N Z Christmas .”

  1. Phyllis Hess says:

    How lovely they are!!  The blooms  resemble the  “bottlebrush” tree blooms that bloom in Florida while we are there for the winter.
    Thanks for sharing and a wonderful Christmas season to you and yours.
    Phyllis Hess

  2. John Castor says:


    Visitors to Hawai’i will see a resemblance of the NZ Christmas Tree to Hawai’i’s o’hia tree,
    Metrosideros polymorpha, which is common in the islands. Bottlebrush is a Callistemon
    (and native to Australia) in the same family, and the blooms look similar.

    John Castor

    At 08:14 AM 12/20/2010, you wrote:

    How lovely they are!!  The blooms  resemble the  "bottlebrush" tree blooms that bloom in Florida while we are there for the winter.
    Thanks for sharing and a wonderful Christmas season to you and yours.
    Phyllis Hess


  3. David Liedlich says:

    Thanks for the photos and Merry Christmas John.  That is a lovely tree.

    Dave Liedlich
    Connecticut

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