Maori name(s): Puriri and sometimes kauere Common name(s): Puriri, New Zealand mahogany, New Zealand teak Scientific species name: Vitex lucens Family: Verbenaceae (Vervain family)
Vitex is a widespread genus with some 100 species. Puriri is only found in New Zealand.
I haven’t shown you any photos of the New Zealand Puriri Tree before. The Puriri is a typical Northland tree. It grows naturally from the North Cape down to northern Hawkes Bay, Taupo, and southern Waikato.
The tree can reach a height of 20 meters, with a trunk commonly up to 1.5 m in diameter, often thicker, and it has a broad spreading crown. The thin bark is usually smooth and light brown in colour, but can also be very flaky.
Puriri is one of the few native trees with large colourful flowers. Many plants in New Zealand have white or green flowers. The tubular flowers of the puriri look rather like snapdragon flowers and can range from fluorescent pink to dark red, rose pink (most common) or sometimes even to a white flower with a yellow or pink blush. The bright colour, the tube shape, copious nectar production and the hairs at the base of the flower tube all point towards birds pollinating this flower (the hairs stop insects from stealing the nectar).
What has always put me off this tree is the PURIRI MOTH, (Hepialus virescens). Years ago there used to many of these moths flying around – big, ugly and green. Bur I can’t say I have seen one for over 20 years.
The puriri or ghost moth is the largest native moth of New Zealand. The wing span may be up to 15 cm. Now, can you understand why I never liked these moths??
Check the workshop. . . and the damage that can be done to the trunk of the Puriri tree by the caterpillars.
I'm glad to see new picture from you, my friend!
This is what I like - fresh, green leaves and colorfull flower on BG made by NZ's Blue Sky [TM] :-) Another great Maori word will come to my Pohutu Notepad :-) WS is slightly scary :-) These caterpillars are really dangerous :-)
Hi Janice !
A very simple shot, but so beautiful ! The green color of the leaves is wonderful, bright and vivid. Composition and POV are splendid, and the blue sky makes a perfect BG. It's a sunny and cheerful picture. Very impressive to see how caterpillars can damge these trees. Very well done !