The New Zealand Collection has been established since 1900. It displays a cross section of plants from both the North and South Islands as well as plants from some of New Zealand’s smaller island territories. Within the collection there are plants that grow in coastal areas all the way through to the mountainous regions.
Some of the featured trees such as the Metrosideros species or New Zealand pohutukawa are more than 100 years old. These put on a stunning and majestic flower display during late Spring through to mid Summer earning Metrosideros excelsa the name New Zealand Christmas Tree.
The famous Clianthus puniceous or Kakabeak is also represented with masses of its stunning red pea like flowers in late winter, early spring. A particularly intriguing plant found within the collection is the Pisonia brunoniana or Birdcatcher tree, the sticky fruits produced throughout late summer and winter get entangled in birds feathers, perhaps an evolutionary mechanism to aid in seed dispersal. It is said that sometimes the birds get so entangled that they get stuck in the tree itself and hence the common name.
The collection also features a number of incredible fern species from large tree ferns such as the majestic and stunning Cyathea medullaris to the delicate, rock clinging necklace fern, Asplenium flabellifolium.
The collection provides a taste of the diversity of New Zealand’s flora, a little piece of our neighbours from across the ditch. How would you say that with a New Zealand accent!?