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Southern Rātā

Metrosideros umbellata Cav.

Brief Summary

provided by EOL authors
Metrosideros umbellata is a tree endemic to New Zealand and the Auckland Islands. Within New Zealand, it is far more abundant on South Island than North Island, with particularly strong representation in the forest of the west and on Rakiura Island.

Also known by the common name of Southern rata, this tree may attain a height of up to 15 metres.
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Metrosideros umbellata

provided by wikipedia EN

Metrosideros umbellata, the southern rātā, is a tree endemic to New Zealand. It grows up to 15 metres (49 ft) or more tall with a trunk up to 1 metre (3 ft 3 in) or more in diameter. It produces masses of red flowers in summer. Unlike its relative, northern rātā, this species rarely grows as an epiphyte.

Description

The flowers of southern rātā are scarlet, with stamens about 2 centimetres (0.79 in) long. White or yellow flowers are also known. Flowering usually occurs between December and February, but this depends on local conditions. Leaves are from 3 centimetres (1.2 in) to 6 centimetres (2.4 in) long, and are sharply pointed. The wood is hard, dense, and very strong. The bark is rough and flaky and provides an ideal stratum for the roots of epiphytic plants such as Astelia species and Freycinetia banksii (Kiekie). Southern rātā is a major source of honey on the West Coast of the South Island. Kaka, tui, and bellbirds visit rātā to take advantage of the abundant nectar.

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Southern rātā growing at its southern limits in the Auckland Islands at 50°S

Distribution

It prefers cooler regions with high rainfall and is particularly common along the west coast of the South Island where its nectar is the main source of a locally produced rātā honey. Southern rātā is the most widespread of the New Zealand tree rātā species. It is locally present in the North Island from latitude 36° southwards, is more common in western parts of the South Island but absent from much of the east, and is common on Stewart Island (47°S) and in the Auckland Islands, where it reaches its southern limit at just over 50°S.

Conservation

Although southern rātā is not regarded as threatened, it is rather uncommon in the North Island, and in certain areas it is threatened by possum browse. In the Tararua range, southern rātā populations appear to have been replaced by a population consisting of hybrids between northern and southern rātā.

Project Crimson is a charitable trust that promotes conservation of rātā as well as the related pōhutukawa.

Cultivation

Southern rātā is a beautiful specimen tree, but growth can be slow unless it is grown in ideal conditions with moist soil. It is easily grown from fresh seed. While it is possible to grow the tree from softwood or semi-hardwood cuttings, these often prove reluctant to strike roots. It is ideal for coastal environments because it has a good resistance to wind and salt.[2]

At least 16 cultivars of southern rātā have been released.[3] There are also known cultivars of hybrids between southern rātā and pōhutukawa, and between northern rātā and southern rātā.[4] Known cultivars include:

∞ Hybrid of southern rātā and northern rātā
¤ Hybrid of southern rātā and pōhutukawa

See also

References

  1. ^ Metrosideros umbellata in NZPCN-database
  2. ^ "Gondwanan Plants What Are They and Why Grow Them in Britain?". Garden Cottage Nursery. Archived from the original on 2009-04-29. Retrieved 2009-06-18.
  3. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o p q "Metrosideros in cultivation: Rata and other species" (PDF). 13 (2). 2010: 11. Cite journal requires |journal= (help)
  4. ^ a b c d e "Metrosideros in cultivation: Pōhutukawa" (PDF). New Zealand Garden Journal. 13 (1): 10–22. 2010. Retrieved 2015-05-25.
  5. ^ "Metrosideros Cleveland Red (umbellata x excelsa)". NZ Colour Labels. Retrieved 21 June 2015.
  6. ^ "Metrosideros umb x rob 'Sentinel Flame'". Vibrant Earth. Vibrant Earth. Archived from the original on 23 January 2015. Retrieved 16 June 2015.
license
cc-by-sa-3.0
copyright
Wikipedia authors and editors
original
visit source
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wikipedia EN

Metrosideros umbellata: Brief Summary

provided by wikipedia EN

Metrosideros umbellata, the southern rātā, is a tree endemic to New Zealand. It grows up to 15 metres (49 ft) or more tall with a trunk up to 1 metre (3 ft 3 in) or more in diameter. It produces masses of red flowers in summer. Unlike its relative, northern rātā, this species rarely grows as an epiphyte.

license
cc-by-sa-3.0
copyright
Wikipedia authors and editors
original
visit source
partner site
wikipedia EN