Clianthus puniceus #1

Best viewed @ large size


Fabaceae - Endemic to North Island, New Zealand; critically endangered in the wild


Kakabeak, Kaka Beak, Parrot's Beak, Parrot's Bill, Lobster Claw


Shown: Detail of clustered flower buds


"Clianthus puniceus, commonly known as Kaka beak (Kōwhai Ngutu-kākā in Māori), is a woody legume shrub native to New Zealand's North Island. It is one of two species of Clianthus (Kaka beak), both of which have striking clusters of red flowers which resemble the beak of the Kākā, a New Zealand parrot. The plant is also known as Parrot's Beak, Parrot's Bill and Lobster Claw. There is also a variety with white to creamy coloured flowers.


"The species is critically endangered in the wild, known only on Moturemu Island in the Kaipara Harbour. It was previously widely grown as a garden plant, but has generally been replaced by the more robust Clianthus maximus.


"Kaka beak grows to around two metres high, with spreading branches producing leaf stalks up to 15 cm long bearing several pairs of small leaflets. They usually flower from spring through to early summer, but can flower twice a year or even year round." (Wikipedia)


Periodically available online in the United States from:


My additional image of C. puniceus:


Photographed in my garden in San Francisco, California

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Taken on March 8, 2012