By: Blonde Two
Those of you who are regular Two Blondes followers will know that I am not the bravest of people. This means that the title of this blog post does not refer to any of the high adrenaline activities for which New Zealand is famous. I have not been hanging off cliffs myself but I have been admiring some rather interesting trees that were doing just that on one of my beach walks.
The Pohutukawa (puh-hoot-uh-car-wa) is a beautiful native tree with gnarled far reaching roots, dark green waxy leaves and bright red flowers. I never get to see the bright red flowers because they come at Christmas time and I don’t, but pictures suggest that they are quite a sight. Because of the timing and colour, the Pohutukawa has become synonymous with Christmas in these parts and appears on Christmas cards and decorations. The beaches of the Coromandel Peninsula are lined with Pohutukawa (this word is difficult to type) and must be a lovely sight when they are in full flower as the Kiwi’s have their long summer holiday and we are sitting in front of fires, wearing silly hats and eating too much.
Like the people who live here, Pohutukawa seen to be an adventurous bunch and are often found leaning at precarious angles over high cliffs with their roots clinging on for dear life. If you see a Pohutukawa and think that it seems to have a lot of these clever roots, then you are probably right as they have the ability to sprout new ones out of branches and trunks. These new roots can grown in the air until they find more suitable places to cling on to. This all seems to work very well as some Pohutukawa live for 1000 years.