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Mystery Plant - Help with Identity????

Posted by Jennifer1 
Mystery Plant - Help with Identity????
June 08, 2006 05:32PM
I was recently in the Christchurch area. While stopped at one of the lookouts on the hill road to Sumner/Lyttelton, I noticed a plant.

It seemed to be a NZ native, but it may not be.

It looked like it had just grown there, rather than being planted, but I don't know.

It was a bush, rather than a tree.

It had small (2cm long) roundish leaves. The leaves were quite thick. The colour was mid-green, tending to what's known as olive green. The underside of the leaves was very pale.

The bush had flowers on it. They were very pale yellow. They had (uh-oh my botany lessons are going to completely fail me now) anthers and stigma in the middle of them and these were quite significant (like fuchsia ones but not so long) . The flowers were a similar shape to kowhai flowers (but a much, much paler yellow) and were about 2cm long with a little felty brown cap to the base of them (sepal).

Is anyone able to help me with the identity of this plant?


Hi Jennifer,
could it be a native hebe?
Kay D
Re: Mystery Plant - Help with Identity????
June 09, 2006 02:36PM
Do hebes have yellow flowers? And hebe flowers are more like a mini bottle brush than a kowhai. The flowers sound more like a kaka-beak, but again, I'm not sure about the yellow flowers. And the leaves sound like feijoa or pohutukawa. You didn't by any chance take a photo that you could download here with flikr, did you.
Re: Mystery Plant - Help with Identity????
June 09, 2006 03:50PM
Hi Kay D and Lorna, thanks for your suggestions.

I scoured my little books of pictures last night and managed to solve the mystery. It's a Correa backhousiana, an Australian plant that attracts nectar-feeding birds.

If you'd like to know what I'm talking about, a Google image search for 'Correa backhousiana' will bring up pictures of it.

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