Thursday, November 4, 2010

Quiet flowering

I enjoy watching the native trees and bushes flowering in their own quiet way. Many of our native flowers are pollinated by moths, and so their colour is white.
This is the whau plant (pronounced 'foe'), with leaves so lush that they look wet with greenness.
I used to live near one of Auckland's volcanic cones, called Maungawhau: the whau mountain (also known as Mt Eden). Alas, the whau that once covered this mountain had dwindled away, until a band of dedicated planters set to work propagating and replanting the slopes.
The wood is as light as balsa, and was used by the Maori to make floats for fishing nets.

Also flowering now, quite shyly, is the ngaio tree. The photo below shows the tiny oil glands in the leaves. Maori would crush them to rub over their bodies as an insect repellant.

1 comment:

Marilyn said...

What a wonderful post about these trees, I appreciate all of the information that you have given about them. I thought of the whau tree when Jeff and I walked up and over Maungawhau on Tuesday when we did the Coast to Coast walk.