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Spring in the Native Plant Collection

This article was first published on 05 Nov 2015.

Kowhai in flower

Kowhai in flower

Spring is the perfect time to explore the many nooks and trails of Dunedin Botanic Garden. The lower garden is full of splendour.  Those who choose to wander up to the vast and varied plant collections of the upper garden will also be rewarded with a constantly changing display of exotic colours and fresh greenery.

 At the top of hill the native plant collection, with its unique backdrop of textures and tones, is putting on a show of its own. From now through to summer we can look forward to a succession of flowering native plants, from the showy and iconic to the minute and exquisite – and the more you look, the more you will see.

Along with the thirsty bellbirds and tui, visitors have been enjoying a bumper flowering of kowhai this year. 

It is not hard to spot the other showy stars of our native flora– starry native Clematis, blue and white-flowered Chatham Island forget-me-nots, a suite of colourful kakabeaks (Clianthus), white-laden Olearia cheesemanii, and sweetly-scented Corokia cotoneaster, to name just a few.

The eye-catching native flowers in our flora are complemented by a suite of tiny blooms which deserve a closer look. Some rare Pittosporum species are worth hunting out at the moment – there is a particularly pink-laden Pittosporum patulum in the divaricating plants border, flanked by the unique and surprisingly floriferous Pittosporum turneri.

So far it appears to be a particularly good flowering year for the native collection, so do come on up and have a look around.

Kate Caldwell is curator of the native plant collection at Dunedin Botanic Garden.