Metrosideros excelsa

Christmas tree, Pohutukawa"

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Key information

Plant type

Evergreen tree



Skill level


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Plant details

From the North island of New Zealand, this is a decent-sized tree that erupts in a blaze of crimson bottlebrush-like flowers in summer. It's common name derives from the fact that Christmas falls during its homeland's summer. The second big attraction is the colour mix of the leaves, dark green on top with a whitish underside. When the wind is whipping them about you get a lovely, mottled effect. The best places to see them growing in the UK are at Tresco, in the Scilly isles, which gives you an idea how tender they are. Only for the warmest, sunniest, most sheltered sites on the mainland.

Family: Myrtaceae

Genus: Metrosideros

Species: excelsa

Plant type: Evergreen tree

Foliage colour: Mid-green

Sun exposure: Full sun

Soil: Well-drained/light, Moist

Hardiness: Tender

Skill level: Beginner

Height: 2000cm

Spread: 1500cm

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