Otago Museum Native Garden (Part 2)

This post continues on from Part 1 of the Otago Museum Native Garden (visited Sunday 23 July 2017). Dunedin, New Zealand. Part 3  |  Part 4

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A Moeraki Boulder is sited prominently near the side entrance to the museum. Above the boulder we see the foliage of a taraire tree (Beilschmeidia tarairi).

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The boulder is beautifully textured and mossy. The plants in the front-right of the photo are rengarenga (Arthropodium cirratum) commonly known as rock lily.

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Fissures and markings on the Moeraki Boulder.

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Moeraki Boulder detail. The Visit Waitaki Oamaru website has good concise information and photos about the Moeraki Boulders in their natural environment (East Otago coastline).

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When I looked closely at the taraire tree I was surprised to notice immature but fleshy fruits among the foliage. This tree naturally grows in warmer northern parts of NZ and I hadn’t expected to see fruits in mid-winter in Dunedin! The fruits will ripen to a very dark purple and almost look black when mature.

“Taraire is a member of the Family Lauraceae which is mainly confined to tropical and subtropical areas; probably the best known member of the family being the bay laurel, Laurus nobilis.” — Tane’s Tree Trust website

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Here’s a closer view of the taraire fruits and leaves.

“Taraire’s olive-shaped purple fruits are held upright near the tips of its branches. The fruits ripen in winter, and are eaten by kererū (native pigeons), which distribute the seed.” — from the Te Ara website

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Kereru (native pigeon) in a tree at Maple Glen (a must-see garden near Wyndham in Southland, New Zealand). The native pigeon is big and plump and if you’re looking at one front-on it looks as though its wearing a white singlet. Very colourful bird and we see them a lot in Dunedin – at the Botanic Garden, the University, and sometimes perched up on a power-line above the street! Photo by SO.

 

Words and photos by Exploring Colour except the pigeon photo which is by SO (2017)

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