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Weinmannia: Kamahi & Towhai

May 31st 2005

Weinmannia racemosa   Kamahi
Weinmannia sylvicola    Towhai

The seed of this genus is light and is produced in profusion in late autumn. It germinates readily. Towhai is a plant of the north and can be found in regenerating bush or is often common on clay banks on the side of the road.
Kamahi is found south of the Bombay Hills and is very common in the South Island, where it can form almost entire communities.
The flowers are sweet scented and produced in profusion in November and December. Most of the capsules ripen and dehisce by March, and by the end of April little seed remains on the tree. Measuring 1.5 X 0.4mm and fitted with small tufts of hair up to 1mm long and weighing about 0.1 mg, the seeds are well adapted for wind dispersal.  The seeds can germinate 21 days after dispersal. The readiness with which these species germinate plus the large number of seeds produced ensures the species success in many environments.

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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