Located between the Kaitake and Pouākai ranges, the Pukeiti garden began as a scrub-covered 63-hectare block. It was bought in 1950 and a trust was formed to oversee its development. The garden now covers 360 hectares. Pukeiti’s rhododendron collection is the largest in the southern hemisphere and contains hundreds of varieties, along with stands of native bush and exotic plants. Three rhododendron seeds brought from north-east Burma by plant collector Frank Kingdon-Ward in 1953 were grown and eventually flowered in 1974. Now known as Rhododendron protistum var. giganteum, or just ‘Pukeiti’, the plant appears on Pukeiti’s promotional material.
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