Local flora – Lancewood, horoeka, Pseudopanax crassifolius

IMG_5052A different view of a lancewood. These trees change quite dramatically from juvenile to adult form.

Juveniles have a very straight and thin trunk without branches and a cluster of long, narrow lance shaped leaves at the top.

Adult leaves are less than half the length of the juvenile’s leaves and twice the width, and they form a rounded crown at the top of the tree.

Plants are either male or female. The small, greenish-yellow flowers are pollinated by insects. The purplish-black fruits are an important food source for whitehead, tūī and wood pigeon/ kererū when they occur in autumn and winter. In Māori lore, the flowering of lancewood was an indication that birds would be plentiful the following year, because the fruits take a whole year to ripen. (Information from DOC website)

IMG_5112
3 juvenile lancewoods, less than a meter tall.

 

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