We have a glorious pōhutukawa tree in our garden. Often referred to as the New Zealand Christmas tree, Metrosideros excelsa, is a coastal evergreen tree in the myrtle family, The pōhutukawa is one of twelve Metrosideros species endemic to New Zealand. Renowned for vibrant colour and its ability to grow even on rocky cliffs, the pohut is a New Zealand icon, admired and appreciated for its strength and beauty, and regarded as a chiefly tree (rākau rangatira) by Māori. The blossom of the tree is called kahika.
Pōhutukawa bloom from November to January during New Zealand's summer season. They are under threat from browsing by the introduced common brushtail possum which strips the trees of their leaves. A charitable conservation trust, Project Crimson, has the aim of reversing the decline of pōhutukawa and other Metrosideros species – its mission statement is "to enable pohutukawa and rata to flourish again in their natural habitat as icons in the hearts and minds of all New Zealanders."
I'm delighted to share an article about my photographic journey just published in Olympus Passion.