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Recommended Books

A Field Guide to the Native Edible Plants of New Zealand

A practical field guide to New Zealand's native edible plants. Andrew Crowe

Gardener's Encyclopaedia of NZ Native Plants

 Gardener's Encyclopaedia of NZ Native Plants by Cave, Paddison

Trees and Shrubs of New Zealand

 Trees and Shrubs of New Zealand  by Poole and Adams

The Reed Field Guide to New Zealand Native Trees

 The Reed Field Guide to New Zealand Native Trees by J.T. Salmon

Which Native Plant Can I Grow Here?

100 Best NZ Native Plants for Gardens

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High Altitude Mountain Daisies (Celmisia Semicordata), Mt Cook NP, Canterbury, New Zealand
High Altitude Mountain Daisies (Celmisia Semicordata), Mt Cook NP, Canterbury, New Zealand
McCormack, Gareth
18 in. x 24 in.
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The Botanical features of New Zealand plants.

Myoporum laetum

What are the features of New Zealand native plants that can be thought of as being special to New Zealand?

Dioeciousness: Male and female parts on separate plants.
About 20% of New Zealand native plants show male and female individuals. However in an area of forest we could find about 50% of the species showing this feature . Common plants that express dioeciousness include all of the Coprosma, Pseudopanax, and Pittosporum as well as species such as rimu, mahoe, putaputaweta, porokaiwhiri.

Juvenile and adult forms.
The most well known is lancewood Pseudopanax crassifolius but there are many others including matai, kahikatea, Coprosma arboreus and Dacrydium kirkii.

Divarication or filiramulation (small leafed twiggy shrubs). The small leaved Coprosma are the most obvious. About 20% of New Zealand plants exhibit this form. Of all the plants in the world that are divaricating about 60% of these plants are endemic to New Zealand.

New Zealand's unique forms: cabbage trees, flax, tree ferns,

Tmesipteris (an ancient remnant), found growing on Ponga

Carmichaelia (the leafless brooms),




Plants with their headquarters in New Zealand (Coprosma, Hebe, Pseudopanax),

Plants with limited distribution  (The offshore islands; particularly Northland's), North West Nelson, Whangaroa and North Cape. Just about every province of New Zealand will have a plant that is limited to that particular area.

Small white inconspicuous flowers on many species,

Tree daisies. Usually daisies are small shrubs or annuals that are about knee or waist height. However in New Zealand and Australia there are daisies that grow the size of small trees. Brachyglottis, Olearia and Senecio have individuals tall enough to be called tree daisies.

Evergreen. Only 11 new Zealand species loose their leaves over winter. The most common are kowhai(Hemideciduous), lacebark and Tree Fuschia. The vast majority of trees and shrubs are evergreen for all of the year. In Northland these species are only deciduous for a week or two and in Southland they may be deciduous for about 4 months of winter.

Of course the big question is : Why and by what process do these features occur in New Zealand ?
The answer rests with our isolation. 80 million years of isolation in the south-west Pacific, free of mammals, only colonised by humans in the last 1200 years and a set of environmental and climatic circumstances have created plants that are truely unique to New Zealand.


Species list for information on native plants

Agathis australis       Alectryon excelsa     Alseuosmia banksii Aristotelia serrata    Arthropodium cirratum Beilschmiedia tarairi Beilschmiedia tawa  Brachyglottis repanda Carmichaelia    Carpodetus serrata Coprosma          Cordyline australis     Cordyline banksii.  Corynocarpus laevigatus    Cyathodesfasciculata    Dacrydium cupressinum  Dacrydium kirkii         Dianella nigra     Dodonea viscosa Dysoxylum spectible Elaeocarpus dentatus    Elingamita johnsonii  Entelea arborescens    Fuchsia excorticta     Fuchshia procumbens  Gaultheria               Geniostoma ligustrifolium Hebe  Hedycarya arborea               Hoheria populnea    Kunzea ericoides   Laurelia novae zelandiae     Lophomyrtus  Libocedrus plumosa Leptospermum scoparium            Knightia excelsa    Macropiper excelsum Meryta sinclarii    Melicope ternata Melicope simplex    Melicytus ramiflorus          Metrosideros excelsa  Myoporum laetum    Myrsine australis    Nothofagus       Phormium tenax Phyllocladus trichomanoides    Prumnopitys    Pittosporum          Pisonia brunonnianum   Podocarpus dacrydioides             Colensoa physaloides  Planchonella costata      Pseudopanax    Pseudowintera colorata          Pomaderris kumaraho  Rhabdothamnus solandri        Rhopalostylis sapida    Rubus                 Schefflera digitata    Solanum aviculare    Sophora microphylla    Tecomanthe speciosa  Toronia toru            Vitex lucens    Weinmannia



Scenic New Zealand Blank Greeting Cards   


Classic Walks of Scenic New Zealand Book


Rainbow Forest - A Magic Forest Walk - New Zealand Nature Sounds Music CD