Story: Shrublands

Mānuka seed capsules

Mānuka seed capsules

Mānuka is the most widely distributed shrub in New Zealand. When its woody seed capsules split, they shed thousands of tiny seeds into the air. Some mānuka have capsules that split and release their seed within a year, but many northern mānuka populations (especially on gumlands) retain some intact capsules for a number of years. Scientists think that these populations have a selective advantage – when fire sweeps through their stands, the capsules will split and release millions of seeds at one time.

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Natural Sciences Image Library of New Zealand
Reference: Di0315Rbt
Photograph by G. R. Roberts

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How to cite this page:

Maggy Wassilieff, 'Shrublands - Heathlands', Te Ara - the Encyclopedia of New Zealand, (accessed 22 September 2023)

Story by Maggy Wassilieff, published 24 Sep 2007