New Zealand is one of the world's richest bio-diverse areas for flora. It is home to a large variety of plants of which a huge 84% are endemic. The forests range from sub tropical to temperate, evergreen rainforest, and beech forests. Renown native trees include Rimu, Totara, Matai, Kahikatea and many species of ferns including the tallest tree ferns in the world. Other notable trees include, the Cabbage Tree, the Nikau Palm which is New Zealand's only palm tree, and the Giant Kauri, which hold the record for the greatest timber volume of any tree on Earth. Read more →
Flowering trees include the Kowhai with its,beautiful yellow blossum, plus the Rata and Pohutukawa which both flower in different shades of red each summer.
New Zealand also contains large areas of tussock grass in sub-alpine areas. Prominent areas of tussock include the South Islands McKenzie Country and the Central Plateau of the North Island.
Some areas of New Zealand contain substantial amounts of introduced species such as California's Pinus Radiata and the Canadian Douglas Fur. Both these trees are New Zealand's primary crop for forestry and take about 30 years to fully grow, compared to 90 years in their native Northern Hemisphere. This is attributed to New Zealand's lush volcanic soil and near year round rainfall.
Author & photographer: David Johnson (Virtual New Zealand). Providing a credit or link is appreciated.
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