Flaming Red

This morning I was outside in the garden when out of the corner of my eye I spotted a flash of red, it was a real “Suprise!” moment. I walked over to investigate, finding it to be a Kākābeak in flower, a native shrub gifted to Nigel a while back and I knew he’d planted it somewhere. It’s sporting a gorgeous bunch of flowers and I hurried inside to get my camera and take a few pics. Nigel’s away and I don’t know if he saw the flowers before leaving so when he eventually sees my pics on twitter he might also get a surprise! 🙂

Native Clianthus sp. Tapanui, West Otago, New Zealand.


Kākābeak Flowers

The kākā (Nestor meridionalis) is one of our native parrots, a forest dweller. It has a very strong beak. Once on a tramping trip we spotted a wild kākā high on a tree trunk, ripping into the trunk with its beak.

The Māori name is Ngutukākā, “Ngutu meaning beak/lips and Kākā meaning the native parrot of the same name.” ~from an interesting DOC page about Kākābeak.

Pronunciation : I go to the Māori Dictionary as you can listen to a sound file. You need to scroll down the page. Both a’s have a bar over them so they are both ‘long’ and sound like car-car. To put it another way, think of Ah! and then say cah-cah. If you look at the sound file page, there are other variations with a bar over only one of the a’s. Listening to those clarifies how the barred ‘a’ differs to a plain ‘a’.


Text and photos by Liz; Exploring Colour (2021)

12 thoughts on “Flaming Red

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    1. I’m delighted the delicate texture comes across through the imagery, the petals are silky smooth and have a lovely sheen. In response to your Q I went straight out to double-check as I didn’t touch them this morning. The plant is currently in the shade and the petals felt cool and silky smooth!

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