Story: Native plants and animals – overview

Male and female kahikatea

Male and female kahikatea

Most plants on earth are hermaphrodites – they bear both male and female flowers. But the kahikatea, like most New Zealand conifers, has separate female (top) and male (bottom) plants. Many other New Zealand plant species also have male and female flowers on separate plants, which is unusual. One advantage is that female plants will out-cross to separate male plants, avoiding self pollination.

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Department of Conservation
Reference: 10049535 (top); 10049534 (bottom)

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How to cite this page:

Bob Brockie, 'Native plants and animals – overview - Unusual plant features', Te Ara - the Encyclopedia of New Zealand, (accessed 20 August 2022)

Story by Bob Brockie, published 24 Sep 2007