No it's not a netball match.
New Zealand is not short of spectacular trees many of which burst forth into bloom giving the landscape a much brighter and more varied canopy than is found in Europe. Perhaps one of the most spectacular and certainly one of the best known and best loved trees in New Zealand is the Pohutukawa (Metrosideros excelsa) known as the New Zealand Christmas Tree. In its natural range the Pohutukawa grows round the northern coasts and coastal forests of North Island as well as round the shore and islets of Lake Taupo and some other North Island lakes. It is quite a large tree and can grow more than 20m tall and may spread more than 38m. In a good flowering season the mountainsides can be aflame with the brilliancy of the flowers.
When I was introduced to the trees examples of which I have photographed I was introduced to them as Pohutukawa. However we are not in the natural area for them so I assumed that they were Rata (also known as the Norther Rata) (Metrosideros robusta) which is abundant throughout North Island and some of South Island. The wood is extremely hard and dense and consequently has many uses.
I have pored over my tree book and cannot match the flowers to the Pohutukawa, Rata or Southern Rata (which appears in North Island too). So I leave you with the photos of just another flowering teee.
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