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Knightia excelsa Rewarewa.

April 19th 2004

Knightia excelsa Rewarewa.

Tree reaching 30 meters. Leaves 10-15 cm, coarsely serrated. Flowers velvety red and yellow. The Fruit termed a follicle is shaped like a canoe and may be 4-6cm. long.
Common tree of ridges and dry spots.
North cape to Marlborough.

Wind dispersed winged seed similar in shape and size to Kauri. As the seed pods ripen it pays to keep a regular observation  on developing seedpods. As the pods ripen place an onion  bag over them, so when the pod breaks the seed does not blow away, or pick seeds when pods suggest maturity and let them open in a brown paper bag placed in a warm dry spot. Seed pods make useful toy canoes.

An attractive and slender tree. The seeds germinate freely. The seedlings should not be overwatered as this a plant of arid places.The flowers are particularly interesting. The purple body of the perianth contrasts with the almost iredescent green of the club shaped stigmas.

If you wish to learn more about native plants I suggest one of these natural history books from fishpond

Life-size Guide to New Zealand Native Ferns: Featuring the Caterpillars Which Feed on ThemA Field Guide to the Native Edible Plants of New ZealandGardener's Encyclopaedia of NZ Native PlantsTrees and Shrubs of New ZealandThe Reed Field Guide to New Zealand Native Trees



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