Tree of the day: Sophora microphylla or kowhai

Today we take a look at another one of the magnificent trees that are in the residential red zone. There are many fantastic trees, both exotic and native species, but our main focus is saving the native plants within the red zone area. Today's featured tree is Sophora microphylla or kowhai which is a medium to large tree of 8m+. Juvenile plants have zig-zagging branches. It is the most common of the eight species of kowhai in New Zealand, and is endemic throughout the main islands of New Zealand but scarce in parts of Northland. In the wild It is also scarce to absent over large parts of the eastern North Island from about East Cape south to the northern Wairarapa. It produces a yellow flower anytime from August through to November, which is also our national flower. There are many of these plants throughout the residential red zone with many small seedlings popping up in undisturbed ground. We hope that these trees are around for a long time, and become a great feature of the Avon-Otakaro Forest Park!

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