Rewarewa in flower

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Rewarewa (Knightea excelsa) flowers are stunning to look at and very attractive to nectar feeding birds, but because they are produced on such a tall tree they aren’t as well known as other flowers.

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Sometimes, though, you’ll see the reddish tinge of fallen flowers which will give them away. Stop and look up through the canopy though and you may catch glimpses of tuis and other birds gorging on the rich nectar.

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Below is the thick trunk of our rewarewa but in this forest understory there is not much birdlife. It’s all happening up above.

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As a bud the flowers are encased in their petals (as the thicker two in the top photo are) but these open to reveal the flower parts and the petals coil themselves tightly out of the way. The nectar of these flowers is particularly attractive because of its high sugar content.

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