The brush-like blooms of pōhutukawa (Metrosideros excelsa) add brilliance to a Northland beach in summer, and signal the arrival of Christmas. Related to guavas, feijoas and eucalypts, the pōhutukawa is a familiar sight on the northern North Island coastline, which is its natural range. It was favoured by early European boat builders as the timber provides natural curves and is immune to sea worms. The trees have since been planted in coastal areas throughout the country.
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Photograph by Melanie Lovell-Smith
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