CHRISTMAS BUSHES – AUSTRALIA AND NEW ZEALAND

BURSARIA SPINOSA is a small shrub in the family Pittosporaceae. The species occurs mainly in the eastern and southern half of Australia and not in Western Australia and the Northern Territory. It is widespread throughout South Australia, the State in which I live. It has brown bark and dark green leaves. The fragrant white-cream flowers adorning the tips of the branches drew my attention when walking recently in the Laratinga Wetlands in Mount Barker. They are prolific in that area in roadside vegetation where the flowers are quite showy as they blanket the bushes.

 

NEW ZEALAND CHRISTMAS TREE isa coastal evergreen tree in the myrtle family that produces a brilliant display of red (or occasionally orange, yellow or white) flowers made up of a mass of stamens. Renowned for its vibrant colour and its ability to survive even perched on rocky, precarious cliffs, it has found an important place in the New Zealand culture for its strength and beauty. The blossom of the tree is called kahika.     

Beautiful specimens are currently in flower along the south coast of South Australia and the one photographed is at Horseshoe Bay, Port Elliot, South Australia.

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