Tag Archives: pollen

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.

A walk to the Lookout

We had a perfect spring day here yesterday. It was sunny, warm and calm. We feel we deserve some really nice weather after weeks of grey, cloudy, very windy conditions.

After dinner last night we strolled up to the end of the street. We live on a cul-de-sac and at the top of the street there is a large grassy, tree lined reserve, signposted as The Lookout.

When it was first established the views would have been quite spectacular. But the Radiata pine trees, the gum trees, the Pohutukawas and other natives have grown towards the sky and good views are only glimpsed. Nevertheless it is a great spot in which to relax and enjoy nature.

The flaxes are flowering abundantly, offering our nectar loving birds more treats. The pollen is visible on these tubular flowers and we often see Tui with pollen on their heads and necks after they have feasted.

This magnificent Cabbage tree is flowering abundantly. Some say that means the summer will be a hot one. We have lived here long enough to know not to get too excited about such predictions…..but we do hope all the same.

Fellow blogger Ruth told me that the flowers of the Cabbage tree have a beautiful perfume and this tree was certainly filling the still air with the most delicate aroma. Our native wood pigeons love the flowers and seeds of this tree. This tree would be quite a venue for a wood pigeon gathering to eat their fill.

The light was beginning to fade as we left the Cabbage tree.

And the sun set as we neared home.