Nomenclature
Scientific Name:
Metrosideros excelsa Sol. ex Gaertn., Fruct. Sem. Pl. 172, t. 34, f. 8 (1788)
Synonymy:
  • = Metrosideros tomentosa A.Rich., Essai Fl. Nouv.-Zél., 336, t. 37 (1832)
Vernacular Name(s):
Hutukawa; Kahika; New Zealand Christmas tree; Pōhutukawa; Rātā
 Description

Tree up to 20 m. tall; trunk up to 2 m. diam.; branches spreading; branchlets stout, tomentose. Lvs on short stout petioles; lamina (2.5)–5–10 × 2.5–3–5 cm., elliptic to oblong, acute or obtuse, coriac., thick, clad in white tomentum below (young plants occ. glab. below). Infl. of broad compound cymes with ∞ fls; pedicels stout, tomentose. Receptacle obconic; sepals deltoid; petals crimson, oblong. Stamens ∞, crimson, 3–4 cm. long. Ovary adnate to receptacle. Capsules 7–9 mm. long, tomentose, distinctly exserted, loculicidally 3-valved.

[From:  Allan (1961) Flora of New Zealand. Volume 1.]

 Biostatus
Indigenous (Endemic)
 Phenology

Flowering: Dec.–Jan.; Fruiting: Jan.–Feb.

 Bibliography
de Lange, P.J.; Rolfe, J.R.; Barkla J.W.; Courtney, S.P.; Champion, P.D.; Perrie, L.R.; Beadel, S.N.; Ford, K.A.; Breitwieser, I.; Schönberger, I.; Hindmarsh-Walls, R.; Heenan, P.B.; Ladley, K. 2018: Conservation status of New Zealand indigenous vascular plants, 2017. New Zealand Threat Classification Series No. 22. [Nationally Vulnerable]
de Lange, P.J.; Rolfe, J.R.; Champion, P.D.; Courtney, S.P.; Heenan, P.B.; Barkla, J.W.; Cameron, E.K.; Norton, D.A.; Hitchmough, R.A. 2013: Conservation status of New Zealand indigenous vascular plants, 2012. New Zealand Threat Classification Series 3. Department of Conservation, Wellington. [Not Threatened]
Gaertner, J. 1788: De Fructibus et Seminibus Plantarum. Vol. 1. Stuttgart.
Howell, C. 2008: Consolidated list of environmental weeds in New Zealand. DOC Research & Development Series 292: 42.
Richard, A. 1832: Essai d'une Flore de la Nouvelle Zélande. In: Dumont d'Urville, J. Voyage de découvertes de l'Astrolabe. Botanique. Tastu, Paris.