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Pohutukawa (New Zealand Christmas Tree) | by Sids1
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Pohutukawa (New Zealand Christmas Tree)

The Pōhutukawa flowers from November to January with a peak in mid to late December (the southern hemisphere summer), with brilliant crimson flowers covering the tree, hence the nickname New Zealand Christmas Tree. There is variation between individual trees in the timing of flowering, and in the shade and brightness of the flowers. In isolated populations genetic drift has resulted in local variation: many of the trees growing around the Rotorua lakes produce pink-shaded flowers, and the yellow-flowered cultivar "Aurea" descends from a pair discovered in 1940 on Mōtiti Island in the Bay of Plenty.


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Taken on December 21, 2008