While other nations have their poinsettia’s, sprigs of holly with red berries, green wreaths, and evergreen fir trees capped with snow at Christmas time, we too, have our own Christmas tree. All along the coast of New Zealand (and especially on the rugged west coast) the Pohutukawa Tree (Metrosideros excelsa) turns on a brilliant flush of masses of crimson red flowers starting in December.
They are our very own, suitably kiwi Christmas tree – they are hardy, they thrive in difficult situations and only flower once, gloriously, per year, just in time to herald in the start of Christmas.
There is a story that if they flower early in December it will be a long hot summer, and if they flower later in December, it will be wetter/colder/shorter summer. Many a tree has been climbed, camped under, admired against the pale blue sky, and the bluer-than-blue sea. They are just the most amazing burst of resplendent red colour along the coastline.
P for Pohutukawa. The Perfect kiwi Christmas tree for the Christmas Alphabet.