Nikau Palms, South Island, New Zealand

“The nīkau palm is the southernmost member of the palm family and New Zealand’s only native palm species … The nikau palm is unique to New Zealand”.

– Department of Conservation website.

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Nikau palm, detail of palm frond. Larnach Castle South Seas Garden, near Dunedin.
Photo by SO.

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Nikau palms. Larnach Castle South Seas Garden.
Photo by Exploring Colour.

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Nikau palm by path. Larnach Castle South Seas Garden.
Photo by SO.

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Nikau palms. Larnach Castle South Seas Garden.
Photo by Exploring Colour.

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Nikau trees are abundant in the northern West Coast area of the South Island. This photo is taken at Karamea.
Photo by SO.

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Nikau palms, Karamea.
Photo by SO.

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Nikau palm trunk detail. Photo by SO.

The nīkau is very slow-growing. Research conducted in lowland forests near Auckland found it takes 40–50 years to begin to form a trunk and about 200 years to reach 10 m tall. On average two fronds are shed per year leaving behind a leaf scar on the trunk which can be used to give a rough indication of age since the trunk began forming. – Department of Conservation website.

 

Words by Exploring Colour with supplementary information from the Department of Conservation website. Photos by Exploring Colour & SO (2017)

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