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Pohutukawa Tree in New Zealand

Pohutukawa tree is known as New Zealand Christmas tree as its crimson blossoms appear during Christmas time

Best time: November–January

Pohutukawa Tree
Pohutukawa Tree
Pohutukawa Tree
Pohutukawa Tree

Gorgeous crimson blossoms of Pohutukawa tree are depicted on Christmas greeting cards. The tree is referred to in poems and songs, and New Zealanders name it the Christmas tree. Pohutukawa tree became a symbol of Christmas owing to its blooming season that falls exactly on Christmas time, from November to January, and it is at its best in mid- to late December. Besides the red clusters, one might occasionally come across pink-flowered Pohutukawas​ growing around the Rotorua lakes. Yellow-blossomed trees occur mainly in the North Island. This gorgeous evergreen tree is endemic to New Zealand, so you cannot see it anywhere else.

Practical info

When does the Pohutukawa Tree typically bloom each year?

The Pohutukawa tree is usually in bloom from November to January every year. Its blooming period coincides with the festive season in New Zealand and in December, it is at its best. The beautiful crimson red flowers of the tree are a sight to behold and attract visitors from across the world. Show more

Which locations in New Zealand are ideal for viewing the Pohutukawa tree?

Although this tree isn't found in the wild in South New Zealand, it is commonly planted in coastal areas. Some of the best spots to see the Pohutukawa tree in North Island are in Coromandel Peninsula, Bay of Plenty, East Cape, and Northland. The tree looks beautiful in its full splendor when it is in close proximity to beaches. Show more

What distinguishes the Pohutukawa tree from other Christmas trees?

The Pohutukawa tree is unique from other Christmas trees because of its vibrant crimson red flowers, that offer a stunning contrast against the ocean's blue and the golden sands. It is the only tree that blooms during Christmas season in New Zealand. Apart from its striking beauty, it holds sentimental value in the Maori culture, an integral part of the country's heritage. Show more

How significant is the Pohutukawa tree to the culture and traditions of New Zealand?

In New Zealand, the Pohutukawa tree is an icon that represents the summer season, as well as Christmas. As per the Maori culture, it symbolizes hope and endurance, and has therefore been used in cultural ceremonies. Furthermore, the tree also reminds everyone of the importance and beauty of nature, which is an integral part of New Zealand's environmental heritage. Show more

What are the ecological/environmental concerns regarding the Pohutukawa tree?

The Pohutukawa tree is an endemic species of New Zealand that is currently under threat from factors such as habitat loss due to urbanization, pests, and diseases. In response, new Pohutukawa tree hybrids have been created recently, which are resistant to fungal diseases. Conservation measures are being taken to safeguard and increase the Pohutukawa population in their natural surroundings. Show more

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Last updated: by Eleonora Provozin