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Trees and Shrubs of New Zealand

The classic New Zealand  identification guide. Every home should have one. Buy it here.

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The Reed Field Guide to New Zealand Native Trees

 The Reed Field Guide to New Zealand Native Trees

J.T. Salmon

100 Best NZ Native Plants for Gardens

 100 Best NZ Native Plants for Gardens

Native plant prints

Pohutukawa Diana Adams Art Print

Rhapalostylis sapida Nikau

Rhopalostylis-sapida- Nikau

Rhopalostylis sapida

A plant of the palm family that reaches 10 metres. It occurs from North Cape to Banks Peninsula, Hokitika and the Chatham Islands.
It is the worlds most southerly growing palm and is represented in many New Zealand paintings and classic iconic images. At home in any New Zealand ornamental garden.


The seeds of Nikau are about 8mm tall and are bright red-orange when ripe. These should be cleaned of the flesh then placed in the top 1cm of a seed raising mix in a punnet or similar container in a warm spot. Water regularly.  Don't let them dry out. Seeds may take months to germinate or sprout. I use a small glasshouse to germinate most seeds.
A trick is to mix the seeds in with damp sawdust and place this mix in a plastic sealed bag in the hot water cupboard. Mix them around about once a week to add a bit of air. They may begin to germinate here.
Nikau are slow growing and in a year or 2 may be only 30cm tall. As they grow they need a long planter bag or pot as they produce a long Tap root and strong lateral roots.

Rhopalystylis sapida nikau

 

Rhopalostylis sapida
 



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I recommend the following books on New Zealand native plants
100 Best NZ Native Plants for Gardens
The Reed Field Guide to New Zealand Native Trees
Trees and Shrubs of New Zealand
Gardener's Encyclopaedia of NZ Native Plants
A Photographic Guide to Ferns of New Zealand
New Zealand Trees and Shrubs: A Comprehensive Guide to Cultivation and Identification
From Weta to Kauri: A Guide to the NZ Forest
Which Native Forest Plant? (Which S.)