The Pohutukawa tree
The Pohutukawa, (Metrosideros excelsa), is known as the New Zealand Christmas tree, as it flares into crimson display from late October until end November and into the Christmas holiday period. The most famous Pohutukawa grows from a promontory on the tip of Cape Reinga. It is reputed to be 800 years old, at least twice the generally accepted mature age of the tree, and it is sacred to the Maori, who believed it to be the last stepping-off place of spirits from this world.
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