Tuesday, 2 September 2008

Growing, growing...!

In an earlier post I think I may have mentioned that, back in March, we collected and planted the seeds from some native trees. They took ages to germinate, and lots of the seeds failed to do anything at all, but six months on we have about half a dozen healthy-looking seedlings. We've managed to identify the trees they'll eventually grow into (providing the rabbits/possums/insects don't get them first, of course.)

(pronounced KAW-figh)

Kowhai are small trees, growing to a height of only about 8 metres. They're so common that the kowhai flower is the official national flower of New Zealand. Many species of kowhai are deciduous, which is unusual for a native New Zealand tree (most are evergreen). The tree gets its name from the Māori word, kōwhai, meaning 'yellow'.

Pookie poses with our baby kowhai trees

Kowhai bloom on bare branches in early spring

Raucous tui love eating the nectar of the kowhai flowers


(pronounced MAT-eye)

Matai is a type of native pine tree that grows up to 40 metres high. The seeds are dispersed by the kereru (New Zealand pigeon), which eats the matai berries and passes the seeds in its droppings. In the past the timber was used in house building, especially for flooring.

Our matai seedling (I don't think it's big enough to be classed as a sapling yet!)

A mature matai- we'd better not plant ours too close to the house!

Among the birds our matai should attract is the kereru (the New Zealand pigeon)

Hope you enjoyed the pics.