Photo of the week: Kakabeak/ kowhai ngutukaka

Department of Conservation —  03/09/2014

Happy first week of spring! To celebrate the warming weather today’s photo is of beautiful pink kakabeak/kowhai ngutukaka flower.

Pink kakabeak flower. Photo by Brenda Anderson | CC BY-NC-SA 2.0.

Kakabeak is a shrub found only in New Zealand. In spring it produces stunning large flowers that resemble the beak of a kākā.

This lovely shrub is commonly found in plant centres and gardeners are often surprised to hear it is one of our most threatened plants in the wild.

It has no defences against browsing by introduced mammals. Non-native plants, such as mexican daisy, gorse and buddleia, also threaten its survival as they like to live in similar sites.

Photo by Brenda AndersonCC BY-NC-SA 2.0