Rātā in flower

Native NZ Rata flowers at Piha.

April in the Waitakere ranges means it is time for one of our rātā species to flower. Commonly seen on our nature tours to Piha they are unusual as they usually start off life as an epiphyte (or plant perched on a host tree) high in the forest canopy. Its roots grow down to the ground, finally enclosing the host tree and producing a huge tree up to 25 metres high (82ft) with a trunk of 2.5 metres diameter.

The nectar in the flowers is a great source of food for the bees and native birds and if the flowers (to the right) look familiar that is because they are closely related to the Pohutukawa (NZ Christmas tree). We have a video of a bee collecting pollen from a flower here


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