Brilliant crimson flowers cover this tree between November and January, peaking in mid to late December (summertime in the southern hemisphere). In New Zealand the native Pōhutukawa is under threat by the introduced common bushtail possum which strips the tree of its leaves. The possum was introduced to New Zealand in the 1800s to establish a fur industry but it has now become a major pest.
These seeds are one of many specimens collected in New Zealand by Miss Jessie Heywood (1852-1947). Jessie regularly sent packages of specimens from New Zealand to the Manchester Museum. As Jessie is one of my favourite collectors I’ll devote separate post to her story later on.