Tag Archives: flax

The tail of a tropical storm and the Tuis

Earlier in the week with the weather looking more summery I noticed that the Tuis were not visiting the feeders nearly as often. The flaxes are flowering and many other natural food sources are offering them good nourishment.

Flax flower

Flax flower


However the tail end of a tropical storm reached us last evening with humidity and now rain. Quite heavy rain at times and the Tuis are back and in numbers.

It is not as easy to look glamorous and well groomed today.
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New Zealand Christmas candles…..or not?

This season has seen a profusion of flowering amongst our native trees and plants. The cabbage trees were luxuriant, the kowhais dripped their gold, the Pohutukawas are prolific and the various flaxes are producing bounteous nectar and pollen.

One variety of flax that is found in several gardens near my home has glowed with “ Christmassy” reds and oranges. The flowers remind me of traditional Christmas candles that appeared on Christmas cards when I was a child and a Northern Hemisphere Christmas was the predominant visual theme. I always wondered how candles could be lit and be safe on a tree indoors….
It is no wonder that the Tuis, who adore and feast on flax flower nectar are appearing at the sugar water feeder with pollen coating their heads when you look at this macro photo of a flax flower. The shape of each part of the flower is the perfect curve for the nectar feeding birds beaks.

Flax plant

Flax plant


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It is heavy with pollen and only one of a myriad of such flowers on each stalk.
Christmas candles…… perhaps not but a Christmas feast for the birds.

Southern Hemisphere Christmas tree decorations

A fellow blogger at Seasonal Inspiration has been asked by a small child to make a flax Christmas tree this year.

It got me thinking about what might be in my garden and natural environment that could be incorporated on a flax Christmas tree. Flaxes are currently flowering and the yellow or red toning flowers that contain nectar to feed the native birds resemble small candles that I have seen in pictures of traditional Northern Hemisphere Christmas trees.

I would love to include the Christmassy looking Feijoa flowers and any Pohutukawa flowers that had begun to bloom ( Pohutukawa are known as New Zealand’s native/traditional Christmas tree, although they often flower around my area after Christmas Day)

Today I spotted the green seed pods of the Kowhai tree and I figure they currently resemble the strings of pretty coloured beads that often adorn Christmas trees.

I will keep looking….