The New Zealand Christmas Tree.

In stereo

Press on this skink to go to the Forests             


Pohutukawa in flower beside the sea, Northland, New Zealand. (Press for full size version which shows more of the bay)

The crimson flowers of the northern coastal tree, Pohutukawa, blossom from late November through January. In a good season Pohutukawa can be converted from dull green of the leaves to a bright red, making it an excellent symbol of Christmas, smothered in flowers.

The fluffy flowers mark Pohutukawa as a member of the Myrtacea family, which includes the lovely flowering gums of Australia. Unfortunately, the Australian possum enjoys eating Pohutukawa very much. Possum was introduced  to New Zealand last century and it has become a major pest, dining on the leaves of many New Zealand forest trees.

Metrosideros robusta is the Northern Rata tree, whose leaves and flowers are very similar to
 Metrosideros excelsa, the Pohutukawa. 

The photograph only shows leaves and flowers, so it could easily be confused with Rata, but the habits of these two trees are quite different.  Rata germinates in the fork of a branch, high in a forest tree. Aerial roots reach to the ground and surround the host, eventually strangling it. (Some claim Rata does not kill strong trees - only decrepit trees succumb). As the host rots, Rata becomes a forest tree itself..

Pohutukawa germinates conventionally in the soil, preferably beside the warm sea around northern North Island. Sea cliffs are often stabilised by the roots of Pohutukawa.

U Stereo,   

     U Stereo, 


Parallel viewing    Parallel viewing


Use the middle  two pictures

Cross eye viewing is better, move down    

Pohutukawa                                      Pohutukawa


Pohutukawa buds and flowers in stereo.

The long red things on the flower edges are stamens. 
A nectar cup shows well to the left of the picture, and birds love to drink from these.
From the center of the nectar cup comes a pistil, which persists after the stamens have fallen off.


Metrosideros umbellata is the Southern Rata, only occasionally found in the North Island.  

Its flowers are yet smaller and brighter while the leaves are longer. Like Pohutukawa,  it does not start life as an epiphyte.

If you cannot see in stereo, the picture will still fit nicely on an 800x600 pixel screen as "wall paper". Then as you go cross-eyed with fatigue late at night, suddenly your screen will be in 3D!


Go To Pohutukawa in January

Pohutukawa in 3D: red/blue-green glasses version (Anaglyph)

 How to grow Pohutukawa: http://www.projectcrimson.org.nz/grow.html

 3D contents page Stereoscopy

Stereo Picture Gallery 3D pictures

Escape from 3D:  New Zealand Images    Calendar Pictures

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