What’s In The Bush?

Yesterday I showed you the fabulous entry to the Matai Falls Walk in the Catlins, South Otago, New Zealand and a few views of the first part of the path. Here I’ll show you some of the plants I admired – in the same order that I photographed them. This will take us from where I left off yesterday to where the historic rail trail begins.

Just a reminder that it is springtime here in New Zealand, there is lots of fresh new growth. This area is rainforest so there’s plenty of green foliage and ferns, with much to admire in the way of shapes, forms and textures (but few flowers).

Fuchsias, Ferns and other Foliage

What I’m showing in these photos is what I see on any bush walk here in the south, so typical that many NZers wouldn’t take much notice of them, much less photo them.

This is our native tree fuchsia, the world’s largest fuchsia and distinctive for its peeling orange brown bark. The trunks and branches really stand out in rainforest!

Tree Fuchsia (Fuchsia excorticata)


Hound’s Tongue Fern on a Tree Fuchsia. This fern is native to New Zealand and Australia. It climbs and creeps!

Hound’s Tongue Fern (Microsorum pustulatum) – climbing on a Tree Fuchsia


Hound’s Tongue Fern (Microsorum pustulatum)  – creeping on the ground


Astelia (a-stee-lee-a). I’m pretty sure this is a Mountain Astelia or Astelia nervosa


Contrasting foliage


Gnarly base of a Tree Fuchsia (Fuchsia excorticata)


Beautiful spring season fern growth


Further Information and Photos

Tree Fuchsia (Fuchsia excorticata)

Hound’s Tongue Fern (Microsorum pustulatum)

Mountain Astelia (Astelia nervosa)

Text and Photos by Liz; Exploring Colour (2018)

17 thoughts on “What’s In The Bush?

Add yours

  1. Love this post as I loved walking in your forests over there! I followed your link as well and that is an impressive nettle! Wish I could go back to NZ once more!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Its a joy to know that you enjoyed walking in our forests! Its generally a pleasure and very safe but the big native nettle is an ugly exception and not something you would want to stumble into. Its the wickedest looking thing!


    1. Thank you Pepix, its a very interesting tree and I’ll be posting more photos soon. Its very common in the Catlins, you can see lots of them by simply driving along the highway!


    1. Thank you Steve, we use these terms so frequently that I don’t really think about it too much! We also have a huge native nettle that’s a really wicked thing and the stuff of nightmares. Did you ever see an example while you were here? I was just checking a reference and found it referred to as “tree nettle” so there’s another one for the list albeit a fearsome addition. Grows 2-3 metres tall although I haven’t seen it that tall myself. I have seen smaller ones in the wild and give them a VERY wide berth!! The ref I was looking at was: http://www.nzpcn.org.nz/flora_details.aspx?ID=1354


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