Native Forest Action
- saving our Pohutukawas
The New Zealand Garden
at Ventnor Botanic Gardens, Isle of Wight, UK.
New Zealand Native Trees
New Zealand Plant Conservation Network
The New Zealand flower industry takes one to its ancient Maori population who
cultivated native plants to serve medicinal purposes as well as to maintain the
decorum. It also reminds one of Britishers of 19th century, who sowed the seeds
of love towards Botany in the minds of these island dwellers. Nevertheless, they
created a bit of similarity among the countries under their rule such as India,
Africa and also the East.
As the years passed by, modern technology came into being and led the
floriculture industry to flourish by leaps and bounds. Also, as New Zealand is
the powerhouse of clean air, water, and light, one gets to see a wide spectrum
Research on biology of flowers began in New Zealand in early 1870s with Darwin’s
work on orchids, but it descended by 1950s. The main flowering periods are
spring and summer, but some species, particularly blossom in winter. Overall,
1800 species exist. 12-13% is dioecious, 2% are gynodioecious and 9% are
monoecious. However, unisexuality is not unique to flowers in New Zealand.
Around 649 species having fascinating flowers gives 60.6% white, 17.2% yellow,
12.4% blue lilac or dark purple, 5.7% red to crimson, and 4% green.
The peculiar characteristic of nectar and honey drew from native flowers is that
it causes bee poisoning. Pollinators available are birds, bats, butterflies,
bees. Some species of moths, beetles, flies and newly introduced bees facilitate
pollination. The common perception consists of widespread self-fertility in
hermaphrodite plants, complemented by various insect visitors.
A series of New Zealand plants produce small and inconspicuous flowers. Most of
the flowers have a white or greenish color. Coprosma is an example of these.
It is amongst the 90 species found in New Zealand. Many of these species are
small shrubs containing evergreen leaves and some of them are miniature trees
with larger leaves. The flowers are identified by insignificant petals. Small,
non-poisonous berry is the specialty of Coprosma. It can be orange, dark red or
even light blue in colour. It contains two tiny seeds, from which coffee can be
made. Coprosma stands out from other plants in the sense that the axils of the
veins of leaves are hollow and nitrogen-fixing bacteria thrive on leaf-stipules.
This flowering plant is herbaceous perennial, which entangles around other
plants in an anti-clockwise direction. Its average height is about 2-4 m, at
times 5 m as well. The leaves are spirally arranged, arrowhead-shaped, having
length of 5-10 cm and breadth of 3-7 cm. The flowering occurs between late
spring and end of summer. In the embryo stage, flowers, along with sepals,
possess a covering of large bracts. One gets to see the trumpet-shaped flower,
with diameter of 3-7 cm mostly white or pale-pink having white stripes. The
fruit is a 1 cm diameter capsule with black seeds, shaped like quartered
oranges. There is another species called alpine flora where flowers are white or
cream colored. There are 24 species of gentians, crystal white or streaked.
This picture of a Protea is grown
and native to New Zealand this flower is also native to the Hawaiian
islands and is cultivated on the Big island
flower thats also
from new Zealand
In mid-summer, red-colored flowers such as pohutukawa (Metrosideros excelsa),
southern rata (M. umbellata), and kowhais (Sophora species) are obtained. The
winter-specific flowering plants include Neopanax arboretum, having unisexual
flowers and Vitex lucens having red flowers. Most of the species of two genera
Clematis and Rubus have the feature of being dioecious; also Cotula and
Bulbinella have this habit.
Causes of deforestation
Biodiversity has been declining worldwide. New Zealand is no exception. Many of
the flowers of New Zealand are endemic; hence, they should be protected before
they reach the stage of extinction. Many new plants are proving to be a
potential threat to the indigenous plants. Not only that, plant and animal pests
are multiplying day by day, hence, their distribution is also increasing. They
are obstructing the growth of indigenous plants every now and then.
Methods of Conservation
Numerous methods are being implemented to strike the ecological balance
nowadays. Legislation, space management, and public opinion based on ideals of
preservation have been exercised off late to restore the natural vegetation.
National Zoological parks are being set up with utmost security measures. No
person is allowed to touch or cause any other harm to plants. The national Parks
Act, 1980 has been put into practice stating that ‘Preservation of natural
vegetation of New Zealand is in National interest’. Also, management of
threatened species, evacuation of islands and proper pest control can be tried
out as effective measures. Sustainability, too, should be taken into
consideration so that, accordingly, right decision is taken in terms of the
right plant. A tremendous understanding of pros of conservation versus life
span, budget regarding pest-control, need for afforestation, active
participation of localities, especially the Maoris is required. The vagaries of
nature need to be challenged too.
New Zealand Natives
A database of NZ plant photos
- Grow more trees
Tree Fern Discussion Group
Native plants in Coehaven
Tree Ferns Downunder
The NZ West Coast Fern Co.
NZ Horticulture Online
- native plants & forum
Forest Fungi of New Zealand