Golden Kowhai Flowers, New Zealand

Yesterday we were at the Dunedin Botanic Garden and despite the grey day it was an amazing experience – there was lots of blossom from various trees and shrubs, and you wouldn’t believe the scent – there was this lovely perfume everywhere we were walking. It was like heaven on earth!

Today’s post is about our native kowhai (Sophora species) and includes some photos from yesterday and other photos from SO’s archive. Kowhai are beautiful but they don’t produce any noticeable scent. They come in a range of sizes, shapes and forms and flowers range from bright yellow to old gold. Tuis are attracted to the flowers and our native pigeons like feasting on the new shoots.


I took the above photo this morning, especially for this post. I’d gone into a front room, glanced out the window, and realised I’d completely forgotten about the kowhai right outside! This tree is a bit scruffy but that’s the view looking down from our house at present!


I found this kowhai (photo above and below) that has been grown as a standard while I was wandering around residential streets close to the centre of Gore, Southland. This formal treatment of a kowhai is very unusual but in my opinion very effective. The photos are taken by SO.


The stunning photo below was taken by SO while he was out and about in rural Clutha/Southland. This is a larger-size version to enable you to zoom in.


Photo (below) taken yesterday near the upper carpark, Dunedin Botanic Garden.


Photo (below) taken yesterday in the same garden bed but with our native clematis scrambling through it (white flowers). This is a larger-size version to enable you to zoom in.


The following three photos of kowhai blossom are taken from a young kowhai tree planted in front of the new Propagation House at Dunedin Botanic Garden. It has lovely, fresh, bright yellow flowers – very cheerful on a grey day!



This last photo (below) is a larger-size version to enable you to zoom in.


Text and photos by Exploring Colour and SO (2017)


7 thoughts on “Golden Kowhai Flowers, New Zealand

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    1. Thank you Pete! We don’t have many blossom trees so kowhai are very special! I’ll do a post soon, today perhaps, on a relative called Clianthus, another native which is more shrubby and also has beautiful flowers albeit in white and red.

      Liked by 1 person

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