Do you recognise these podocarp seedlings?

Podocarps are conifers that reproduce by bearing cones and fruit. The nursery is in full production with podocarp seedlings at various stages of development. These have all been sourced locally from seed or young seedlings that have been subsequently potted on. See if you can match the correct name to the right seedling in theContinue reading “Do you recognise these podocarp seedlings?”

Know the native trees in Tawa reserves with Gil Roper – Myrsine australis, red matipo, māpou, māpau

Source of names: ‘Ma’ = free of tapu, ‘pou’ = stick. Young plants are used for ceremonial purposes such as karakia. Special Features an endemic shrub growing up to 6m tall, they are very obvious because of their young reddish-brown stems that bear pale green leaves that have a leathery texture and wavy edges leavesContinue reading “Know the native trees in Tawa reserves with Gil Roper – Myrsine australis, red matipo, māpou, māpau”

Know the native trees in Tawa reserves with Gil Roper – Geniostoma ligustrifolium var. ligustrifolium,  Hangehange, Māori privet

A common shrub up to 3m high, it is commonly found at the edge of bush and along the tracks. Leaves are oppositely positioned along the slender, brittle stems. The oval, elongated and soft, shiny lettuce-green leaves have ‘drip tips’ at the end. Source of names: Genus: genio = hairy and stoma = mouth. TheContinue reading “Know the native trees in Tawa reserves with Gil Roper – Geniostoma ligustrifolium var. ligustrifolium,  Hangehange, Māori privet”

Know the native trees in Tawa reserves with Gil Roper – Melicytus ramiflorus, māhoe, whitey wood

This is one of the most common sub-canopy trees in the Tawa native bush reserves. Source of names: Genus Melicytus. From Greek ‘meli’ = honey and ‘kytos’ = hollow container. It refers to the staminal nectaries of the flowers. (‘honey cave’). Species = ramiflorus meaning flowers are borne from branches. Māhoe. ‘Ma’ = shame, ‘hoe’Continue reading “Know the native trees in Tawa reserves with Gil Roper – Melicytus ramiflorus, māhoe, whitey wood”

Know the native trees in Tawa reserves with Gil Roper – tree fuchsia, kōtukutuku

Reputed to be the largest fuchsia in the world it grows up to 15m. The Genus name Fuchsia is from the German botanist Leonhart Fuchs, (1501- 1566). The species name excorticata means ‘loose barked’ while tukutuku means ‘letting go’, so both names refer to the peeling bark. It is an ‘oddball’ NZ native tree becauseContinue reading “Know the native trees in Tawa reserves with Gil Roper – tree fuchsia, kōtukutuku”

Know the native trees in Tawa reserves with Gil Roper – Thread fern – pānako

Blechnum filiforme or Icarus filiformis or pānako or thread fern is the most common, but unusual ground fern in the Tawa reserves. Its unusual features are that it is the only climbing species of Blechnum in New Zealand and it has three different types of fronds – juvenile, adult sterile and adult fertile. Blechnum speciesContinue reading “Know the native trees in Tawa reserves with Gil Roper – Thread fern – pānako”

Know the native trees in Tawa reserves with Gil Roper – Tawa

The tree after which our suburb is named. Beilschmiedia tawa or tawa is a dominant canopy tree in the Tawa native bush reserves. The Genus name Beilschmieda is after Carl T Beilschmied (1793 – 1848), a Polish botanist. The species name tawa is a Māori word meaning ‘to be purple’, relating to the colour ofContinue reading “Know the native trees in Tawa reserves with Gil Roper – Tawa”

Know the native trees in Tawa reserves with Gil Roper – Kawakawa

Piper excelsum (Kawakawa) Piper = pepper and excelsum = tall. Kawa = bitter. A few metres high in lowland bush, kawakawa is endemic to NZ. Recognition features of kawakawa: heart-shaped leaves with a palmate vein pattern leaf petiole is flattened at the base leaves often have holes, caused by a nocturnal looper caterpillar male andContinue reading “Know the native trees in Tawa reserves with Gil Roper – Kawakawa”

Know the native tree species in Tawa reserves with Gil Roper – Kohekohe trees in winter

This is sometimes called ‘the funkiest tree’ in our native bush, with its white flowers in winter that grow directly from the trunk. The flowers provide a nectar source for tūī and korimako (bellbirds) at a time when other food is not as abundant. In some years, a strong sweet aroma is evident in theContinue reading “Know the native tree species in Tawa reserves with Gil Roper – Kohekohe trees in winter”

Know the native tree species in Tawa reserves with Gil Roper – Mamaku or Ponga?

Two of our most common NZ tree ferns, are both prevalent in the Tawa native bush reserves. Mamaku Our tallest tree fern, reaching up to 20m, mamaku (black tree fern/Cyathea medullaris) has distinctively black, scale covered koru as the fronds unfurl.The fronds extend up to 5m and can be as thick as a human armContinue reading “Know the native tree species in Tawa reserves with Gil Roper – Mamaku or Ponga?”