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Native Plant of the Month - September - Rewarewa

Left: rewarewa flowers, middle: rewarewa tree, right: rewarewa flower buds, if you look closely you can see the flower closest to the stem has opened and already has a drop of nectar ready to attract birds.


Knightia excelsa

Also known as New Zealand honeysuckle, rewarewa is an elegant narrow native tree. It is endemic to the North Island and Marlborough Sounds and is related to Australian plants like macadamia and banksia, which are both in the protea family. Rewarewa have amazing red flowers in spring, which you might see tui fighting over - they are very popular with birds! If you get a chance, have a closer look at a flower and see how the long petals curl back like springs to give them their unusual shape.

Rewarewa are quite dry and light tolerant, making them good feature trees to plant in open dry areas. Because of their slender form they are a great tree to plant in sections with less space if you want to attract birds. Rewarewa are a good replacement tree for phoenix palms.

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