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Des Williams.

Des Williams

By Des Williams, DOC Communications Advisor

I was especially proud of my old home town—Tuatapere, in Western Southland—when I returned for a rare visit on New Year’s Eve and New Year’s Day.

A little glade through the Tuatapere Scenic Reserve was resplendent with several large flowerings of Peraxilla colensoi which is more commonly known as scarlet mistletoe.


Scarlet mistletoe at Tuatapere Scenic Reserve

I have never seen such brilliant colour in the reserve before—mind you I am never there at this time of year.

DOC’s Invercargill-based botanist/ecologist, Brian Rance, told me that this part of the reserve is a noted site (and so close to the road), as are other parts of the reserve around the Tuatapere Domain.

So, I now add scarlet mistletoe to the broad sweep of Te Waewae Bay, the Hump Ridge and Fiordland mountains, the Longwoods silver beech forest and Takitimu Mountains as icons of my birth place!

Longwoods silver beech forest at Tuatapere. Photo: Alastair Morrison.

Longwoods silver beech forest at Tuatapere