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In The Hills In the forest 2011-04

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This article was first published in the Tararua Tramper Volume 83, # 3, April 2011, page 12

April in the forest with Chris Horne and Barbara Mitcalfe

Fuchsia excorticata, Kōtukutuku, Tree fuchsia

Fuchsia-excorticata-13b.jpg: 1600x1068, 332k (2017 Apr 24 23:18)
Fuchsia excorticata, Kōtukutuku
Photo: Jeremy Rolfe
Fuchsia-excorticata-08.jpg: 1059x1600, 233k (2017 Apr 24 23:43)
Fuchsia excorticata, Kōtukutuku
Photo: Jeremy Rolfe

Fuchsia excorticata, tree fuchsia, kōtukutuku, is one of the few plants in our indigenous flora that is deciduous, that is, it usually sheds its leaves in winter. So look now for the trees up to 12 m tall and with trunks up to 60 cm diameter, with peeling, brown, papery bark. The dainty, deep red flowers hang down on slender stalks.

Tree fuchsia is common on bush edges in lowland to lower-montane forests. It colonises and stabilises steep gullies in e.g. the Tararua Range. The NZ fuchsia species are the only fuchsia species in the world which have blue pollen. Fuchsias are sometimes described as ‘possum ice-cream’ because possums can browse the trees to death.

Category
Botany 2011

Page last modified on 2017 May 04 08:51

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