One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
An evergreen New Zealand tree of the myrtle family, which bears crimson flowers in December and January.
Metrosideros excelsa, family MyrtaceaeAlso called Christmas tree or in New Zealand
- ‘Editorials were written about the wisdom of planting another imported pine over a native pohutukawa.’
- ‘In any event there are dozens of stunning beaches along the coast, my favourite being Harataonga for its gnarly pohutukawas, fresh water stream, grassy rolling backdrop and spun-sugar sand.’
- ‘It may also be because fewer of the pohutukawas are the native pohutukawas which flower only at Christmas.’
- ‘When cabbage trees erupt, pohutukawa blaze and the first blowfly of summer sings its siren song, count us out.’
- ‘An enormous pohutukawa in front of the Greenaways' house was swept down to the harbour in a mudslide, leaving both properties more exposed to the elements, with the Greenaways' home being particularly vulnerable to further erosion.’
Mid 19th century: from Maori.
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