It is arguable that the northern rata Metrosideros robusta is New Zealand’s most colourful tree. When the flowers appear at Christmas this near relative of the pohutukawa gives a spectacular display. Rata Place was named after it.
The wood of one of New Zealand’s most statuesque trees, the rewarewa, Knightia excelsa has marvellous patterns, and has led to it being called the New Zealand honeysuckle. The rewarewa is a common tree in Wairarapa, and Rewa Place was named after it.
In autumn the New Zealand forest floor is sometimes covered with purple berries, about the size of small plums. These are the fruit of the tawa, Beilschmiedia tawa, an attractive tree with useful timber. The Maori used to extract oil from the kernel contained in the seed. Tawa Street, which was originally going to be called Kanuka Street, is named after the tree.
Pic: In early summer the forest comes alive with rata blossom.