Story: Native plants and animals – overview

Black beech in flower

Black beech in flower

Black beech (Nothofagus solandri) has small red flowers. It blooms in early summer, but only about every three years. The Nothofagus family has been represented in New Zealand for 85 million years (since the land broke away from the supercontinent, Gondwana). But both fossil finds and DNA research show that present-day southern beech species are much younger, having evolved from an ancestor that arrived in New Zealand about 30–40 million years ago.

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How to cite this page:

Bob Brockie, 'Native plants and animals – overview - Plants and fungi', Te Ara - the Encyclopedia of New Zealand, (accessed 7 July 2022)

Story by Bob Brockie, published 24 Sep 2007