Pohutukawa trees are beginning to burst into flower here. They are fickle trees with their unpredictable timing, although they are generally in flower at Christmas time in New Zealand and are known as The New Zealand Christmas tree. (Metrosideros excelsa) It is not uncommon, however, to see some trees in full or partial bloom at other times during the year.
They are very individual in their flowering with a common sight being one or two trees in full bloom while others nearby remain in bud. It is also not uncommon to see an area of a large tree in full bloom while the remainder of the tree is simply leafy.
Fire engine red is the most common colour, but there are other shades of red on offer as well as a more orange toned flower.
This season we have been noticing that the yellow ones have flowered earlier and with great abundance. I particularly like their Latin name: Metrosideros excelsa “aurea”
Many stories circulate about the Pohutukawa and its flowers and how good or indifferent our summer might be according to the cycle of these trees. So far, summer has been very absent where I live so I am not hazarding even a guess about the yellow flowering varieties and what that might mean. Today the sky is finally clear blue, the sun is beating down and it is hot.
Currently we are taking such a day as a real bonus and really hoping for more of the same.
New Zealand Pohutukawa Tree (Metrosideros Excelsa) bursting into flower. It is a member of the myrtle family and grows very well in our harsh coastal conditions. Tui and other nectar feeding birds enjoy the flowers’ nectar.
When the Pohutukawa flowers it is said to mean that it is summer in New Zealand….mmmm we are waiting for that currently and that it is Christmas time…..well that is very correct.