Air, Water & Land

Written by James Sorrell

The Earth and its' environment are our "managed" responsibility: when are we going to do our jobs?? SEE--->"What's wrong withrepparttar human race? A remedy!!", a life preserver made up of words, on---> and

The Kowhai New Zealand's National Flower

Written by Alan Jolliffe

If there is one flowering plant that New Zealanders call their National Flower it isrepparttar Kowhai. It grows naturally throughoutrepparttar 110110 dryer areas of New Zealand and because it is so popular it is planted in almost every garden.

There are however 2 main species of Kowhai. Sophora tetraptera, North Island Kowhai and Sophora microphylla, South Island Kowhai. Where these plant grow side by side inrepparttar 110111 wild natural hybrids also exist. Many hybrids have occurred in gardens as well. Additionally there are 2 naturally occurring varieties of S. micropyhlla and numerous forms, some of which have been named.

The North Island Kowhai, Sophora tetraptera isrepparttar 110112 easiest to grow and fastest to flower when grown from seed. It is probablyrepparttar 110113 most commonly available inrepparttar 110114 Nursery industry.

As a garden plantrepparttar 110115 North Island Kowhai is excellent. With its fast upright growth it is ready to flower in 3-5 years. It does not go through allrepparttar 110116 twiggy juvenile stages of other Kowhais. It is easy to grow and will succeed in almost all garden situations. It will reach a height of 4-6m with a trunk diameter of 30-60cm.

Inrepparttar 110117 wild S. tetraptera grows naturally along forest margins, in lowlands and hill country and alongside streams. Its natural altitude range is from sea level to 450 metres.

Often described as an evergreen tree it losses all its leaves for a very short period each year. In spring allrepparttar 110118 old leaves drop off asrepparttar 110119 new leaf buds break and develop into new branchlets. Allrepparttar 110120 old leaves are replaced to provide a fresh green look. The leaves are divided alongrepparttar 110121 mid rib into a number of leaflets. Each leaflet is oval shaped 25-30mm long and 5-7mm wide. It creates a feathery look. The new young branchlets and young foliage covered with dense silky hairs which are smooth to touch.

The most distinctive feature is its flower. Each springrepparttar 110122 large bright yellow flowers appear in pendulous clusters of 5-7 on naked branches. These showy clusters appear in great profusion. Individual flowers are up to 6cm long andrepparttar 110123 colour is a golden sulphur yellow. The calyx, which holdsrepparttar 110124 petals in place, is a yellowish/green colour that adds further colour torepparttar 110125 flowers.

Tuis and bellbirds love these flowers and visit them to drinkrepparttar 110126 sweet nectar. Unfortunately these birds, in their haste, tearrepparttar 110127 flowers to pieces.

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