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NZ Plants

Metrosideros excelsa - pōhutukawa

Myrtle family: Myrtaceae

Metrosideros excelsa is a large, many-branched tree with numerous roots (adventitious roots) descending from branches and trunks. Both young branches and undersurface of the leathery leaves have a covering of silvery hairs. A genus of 50 species of vines, shrubs and trees native to the Pacific Basin. There are 12 species in New Zealand, all of which are endemic.
An endemic species found in coastal areas from the north to the middle of the North Island.

Vegetative characteristics

Reproductive characteristics

Plant form: tree up to 25 m

Arrangement of parts: symmetric


Flower size: 10 mm diam. X 30-40 mm long

Leaf form: undivided, lanceolate to oblong

Sepals: 5

Leaf size: 2-10 cm

Petals: 5, red

Leaf arrangement: opposite pairs on stem

Sexuality: bisexual

Leaf attachment:

Stamens: numerous

Leaf margin: smooth

Ovary: below petals

Leaf surface: hairs on undersurface

Fruit: dry